Tag Archives: missing man

Intellectually disabled man missing from Ridgewood since Friday found


| slicata@queenscourier.com

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Almache

The family of an intellectually disabled man who went missing in Ridgewood Friday night received good news Monday when he was found safe.

“We are all so happy. We are all crying with happiness. We are thankful he was finally found,” Stephanie Almache, the cousin of the missing man, Geovanny Gonzalez, told The Courier as she was on her way to be reunited with him at New York Hospital Queens.

Gonzalez, 26, was last seen on the corner of Grove Street and Wycoff Avenue on the border of Ridgewood and Bushwick on October 3 at around 6 p.m.

Gonzalez, who is on vacation in America from Ecuador and only speaks Spanish, has the mental capacity of a 10-year-old and also suffers from epilepsy, which he has not had his medication for since he went missing.

“We are all really worried and want him back,” Almache said shortly before he was found. “He is a great guy and a really good friend. We are all just devastated.”

Family members said that Gonzalez was having dinner when he suddenly ran off. They chased him through the streets but eventually lost sight of him near the M train stop on Grove Street and Wycoff Avenue.

Because he was here for two months this year, prior to this vacation, he vaguely knows the cityscape and may have tried to make his way into Manhattan, which is where he came from earlier that day, Almache said.

According to police, Gonzalez was found in good condition. Almache and authorities did not immediately have more details on how he was located.

-With additional reporting by Cristabelle Tumola

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Cops ID Ridgewood body; suspect charged with murder


| mhayes@queenscourier.com

PHOTO COURTESY OF FACEBOOK

Twenty-seven year old Derek Tudor confessed to killing his mother’s boyfriend, Frank Soucie, whose body investigators recovered from his Ridgewood backyard, a police source said.

Criminal charges indicate that Tudor intentionally suffocated Soucie, 60, sometime between Sunday, April 21 and Sunday, April 28 in or around the Putnam Avenue home, said District Attorney Richard Brown.

Soucie was thought to be missing until a neighbor reported Tudor acting suspiciously to the local precinct on Tuesday, April 30.

Police responded to the call and searched the area. They searched the building’s rooftop, where investigators allegedly found a knotted electrical cord and a bottle of ammonia. On the roof of a connected building, they found a large plastic bin and what appeared to be blood. Police also found visible drag marks leading to the back of the building, according to the district attorney.

In Soucie’s backyard, police found a fresh pile of dirt, the source said. Underneath, they found a male’s body wrapped in sheets, later determined to be Soucie. According to the medical examiner’s office, Soucie died as a result of homicidal asphyxiation.

Neighbors said Soucie lived with his girlfriend, Stephanie Verni, 54, and her son in the Ridgewood apartment. The couple often argued about her son, they said, and Soucie wanted him to move out.

On Tuesday morning, eight days after Soucie went missing, Tudor was seen wandering inside Soucie’s building. He walked into a third-floor apartment, where a tenant found him. Tudor seemed “panicked” and asked to use the fire escape to get into to Soucie’s second-floor apartment just below, said the tenant’s boyfriend, Raymond Velez.

“It was weird how this kid was acting,” Velez said.

Moments later, neighbors saw Tudor come out of the building with a large white laundry bag. He threw it into a garbage can, and Velez, who was outside, went to investigate. Velez said he opened the bag and found what appeared to be burnt clothes inside layers of black garbage bags. He said the clothes gave off a burning, chemical smell.

At 6:15 p.m. that same day, Tudor went with his biological father to the 102nd Precinct and turned himself in. According to the police source, he made statements incriminating himself, and was later charged with murder.

Tudor was arrested for forcible touching in 2010. He was also arrested for jumping a turnstile.

Neighbors in the tight-knit Ridgewood community are distraught somebody could do this to their longtime friend.

“He would never hurt a fly,” said Debbie Webster, who knew Soucie for more than 20 years. “When we found out he was missing, we knew something had happened. He didn’t deserve something like this.”

Tudor was arraigned on Thursday, May 2 on second-degree murder charges. He was ordered held without bail and will return to court on Wednesday, May 15. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison, according to the district attorney.