Police dig up body of war hero buried in Long Island backyard after apparent suicide

Friday, November 18, 2016
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Eyewitness News reporter NJ Burkett was in North Bellmore with new details.

NORTH BELLMORE, Long Island (WABC) -- Police recovered the body Friday of an elderly war hero they said was buried by his relatives in the backyard of his Long Island home after he had apparently taken his own life.

Nassau County police dug up the body at a home in North Bellmore after getting a tip about the situation. The man's body was found in a shallow grave and wrapped in a plastic tarp.

Chief of Detectives Kevin Smith said family members claim he used a firearm and committed suicide earlier this week. The man was buried in the backyard by relatives, shortly thereafter, consistent with his dying wishes.

He was suffering from an unspecified illness, authorities said.

An autopsy will be needed to confirm the family's version of events, but Chief Smith said there is no reason to doubt their story at the moment.

No charges have been filed and no arrests have been made, although it is illegal to bury a body in this manner, it will be up to the district attorney as to whether to charge anyone, according to Chief Smith.