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Man charged in murder of New York gay man at Queens motel

Thursday, February 14, 2013

NEW YORK — A 23-year-old man has been charged with the murder of Joseph Benzinger, a 54-year-old gay man who was found strangled on Saturday in a Queens, N.Y. motel.

Crown Motor Inn, Elmhurst, N.Y.

Police arrested Lleuyel Garcia, charging him Thursday with murder and robbery in connection to Benzinger’s death, reported the New York Daily News.

Police believe Garcia and Benzinger had a sexual relationship before the murder.

A police source told the Daily News that Garcia stole the victim’s wallet and cell phone and that detectives use cell phone records to track the suspect down. Garcia implicated himself in the crime by admitting he was at the motel, the source said.

Benzinger was found at the Crown Motor Inn in Elmhurst on Saturday with a shirt wrapped around his neck — he is the third gay man strangled in recent weeks, although police said they do not think the murders were related.

Last month, David Rangel, 53, was killed in his Jackson Heights, Queens, apartment Jan. 26, and Charles Romo, 48, was slain in his Hamilton Heights apartment two days later.

Both those murders remain unsolved.

On Tuesday, openly gay City Councilman Daniel Dromm urged the LGBT community to use caution when meeting someone for the first time, and to use online dating services cautiously.

Police said that at least two of the victims may have met their attackers online.

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1 more reader comments:

  1. hate mongers say the world is going to hell because of the homosexuals. That’s a clever way of skewing the truth. The world is in a bad place, and homosexuals are part of it, but not in the sense that they playing a bad role in it. The world is going to hell because “different” people, including homosexuals, are being savagely killed and assaulted by ignorant people. This young man may have been gay himself and is just a crazy man, but the others mentioned in the article, thecounless assaults on gays by ‘straights’ is the reason the world is going to hell. And the church, when people who are supposed to bring the “love of god” to you condone violence on a human being, they are the problem, not the victims. God made gays anyway, as a balance to straight, because the entire universe is based on balance.. and aren’t all of God’s creations supposedly perfect and equal?

    Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2013 at 10:51am