Police believe Menachem Stark was kidnapped and killed over a relatively small $20,000 debt to a contractor — and investigators are closing in on the Brooklyn developer’s suspected murderers.
The contractor has been tied to both the Dodge Caravan that was used in the kidnapping of Stark, and to a cell phone that was subsequently found attached underneath Stark’s own car, police sources told the Daily News
Stark, a prominent member of the Satmar Hasidic community, had a tangled business history and owed six-figure debts to several creditors and former associates.
He spent most of his last days pleading with friends and business partners for a large loan — and ironically may have secured the cash that could have saved his life in the days before his abduction on January 2, the New York Post reported.
But investigators started focusing on a much smaller unpaid debt after recovering the light-colored van used in the kidnapping — and tying the vehicle to a particular contractor, whom they have not identified.
Stark was snatched outside his real estate office in Williamsburg on Thursday, Jan. 2 around 11:30 p.m. His body was found in a dumpster in Great Neck, Long Island, the next day.
Police sources say he died of “compression asphyxiation” possibly from being choked or sat on during a struggle.
Investigators believe the abduction may have been concocted to scare Stark into forking over the money he owed and was not originally planned as a murder.