Dutchess medical examiner following up
By Liz Schevtchuk Armstrong
An investigator for the Town of Fishkill police department on Sunday (Jan. 25) stated that the man found dead of an apparent gunshot to his head in a Breakneck Ridge parking lot on Route 9D is thought — as earlier surmised — to have committed suicide and that the Dutchess County medical examiner is pursuing the case.
Also on Sunday, a Cold Spring resident recalled passing the scene of the incident shortly after police became involved on Friday and described the flurry of activity she saw at the site, located a short distance north of the Breakneck tunnel and just across the border into Dutchess County and the Town of Fishkill from Putnam County and Philipstown.
A Metropolitan Transportation Authority police force officer discovered the vehicle and body around 1:20 p.m. on Friday and called in other law enforcement personnel. Various units responded, and pursuit of the case then fell to the Fishkill town police department.
As of Sunday, “I have no further information, other than to state that tentatively it does appear to be a suicide,” Sgt. John Berlingieri, a Fishkill police investigator, told Philipstown.info. “I am not prepared to be releasing the identity of the individual,” which must come from the medical examiner, he added, apologizing for the lack of specifics so far.
An investigator in the office of the medical examiner said Monday morning that only the medical examiner himself, who was out of the office, was authorized to provide such details as the official cause of death or the identification (if known thus far) of the deceased.
(However, the medical examiner, Dr. Dennis Chute, reportedly confirmed to The Poughkeepsie Journal over the weekend that the man died from a shot to the head from a gun.)
Cold Spring resident Marynorma Colbert was driving south along Route 9D from Beacon around 1:30 p.m. on Friday. Traffic slowed near the parking lot, which contained a variety of law enforcement cars, she said. “When I looked over, it was every municipality you could think of,” including New York State Police, at least one sheriff’s department, local police who, she believed, came from Beacon and beyond, and others.
“There was ‘brass’ out there,” said Colbert, who once worked for a police department and used a term referring to higher-level officers. “Brass usually doesn’t come out for that” unless something significant happened, she added.
“You could see the car” with the victim, she explained. “The front windshield was covered. I knew that whoever was in it was dead. You could see somebody in the car — at least, it looked like somebody in there. I was stunned,” Colbert said. “It was sad. It’s a shame.”