Victor Ortiz was discovered in his home after the residents of the downstairs apartment in Soundview noticed water leaking from upstairs. When police arrived, they found Ortiz in an overflowing tub.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly says there were also burns on the man's body.
"He had severe burns on his face. There was hot water involved in the tub. All these things will be subject of the investigation on the part of the medical examiner," said Kelly.
Police say they took Ortiz' boyfriend into custody for questioning, but released him.
One woman who didn't want to give her name, is Victor Ortiz's neighbor. She tells Eyewitness News there was often fighting and shouting coming from inside Ortiz' apartment. On one occasion, she says the arguing spilled out into the hallway.
Carlota Barrera worked with Victor Ortiz at Jacobi Medical Center and says they were friends for more than 30 years.
Barrera says she's shocked and pained that her friend is gone.
"Only me is the family here. Really no other family here. I help everything," Barrera said.
Ortiz has family in Michigan.
His body will be taken to Detroit where he will be buried.
Get Eyewitness News Delivered