BABYLON, N.Y. (CBS 2) — Mystery and murder on Long Island have sent a community reeling Sunday.
A local man is in custody after apparently killing his wife, burning down their house, and then taking her body on a road trip to a local beach, reports CBS 2’s Lou Young.
Police found the Long Island couple inside their SUV along a road off the south shore of Long Island, called Sore Thumb Beach. The man was slumped behind the wheel, and the woman was dead and wrapped in blankets.
Police believe the woman was killed 16 miles away, at the couple’s home in Lindenhurst.
It started out as a fire call, as the home on North Erie Avenue was completely engulfed in flames. Neighbors say the sound of explosions woke them at about 4 a.m.
“It was the slide door that exploded from being so heated up,” witness Alex Madolnik said. “[It happened] twice; one side exploded, then the other.”
Neighbors tried to get into the house to rescue anyone inside, unaware it was empty. The couple’s car was gone, and apparently so were they.
Police were immediately suspicious when they arrived on the scene before dawn. They found a gas can and some indication that the fire had been intentionally set, and as firefighters went from room to room extinguishing the blaze, what they saw in the bedroom really raised eyebrows.
“It appeared to them that something had happened to the bedroom that was unrelated to the fire, so they notified us,” Lieutenant Gerald Pelkofsky, of the Suffolk County Police Department, said. “We were already on the scene, and we looked at the room and determined that something may have occurred in there of a violent nature.”
In short – it looked like murder.
Turkish immigrant Mohhammet Karadag lived at the home with his ex-wife. His carpentry business had fallen on hard times – there was a bankruptcy, and divorce. This summer, he seemed to just give up.
“He stopped doing yard work. He used to go up on the roof and just blow everything off the roof,” Maldonik said. “He didn’t even uncover the pool this year. He gave us all his pool stuff. He just gave up on everything.”
Police say Karadag is listed in serious condition at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip. The vehicle, meanwhile, was removed by midday and is being processed for additional evidence.
Police expect to charge Karadag with murder. They say he was unconscious when they found him in the car, suffering from a drug overdose.