Police Investigating Death Of Patrick Luca, NYPD Officer Whose Body Was Recovered In LI Sound

KINGS PARK, NY (CBSNewYork) — Police in Suffolk County are trying to figure out what caused the tragic death of a veteran NYPD officer whose body was found Saturday after he disappeared while kayaking in Smithtown Bay with his 5-year-old son.

Divers recovered the body of 41-year-old Patrick Luca Saturday afternoon in the mouth of the Nissequogue River.

“A recreational boater came upon a man’s body believed to be the New York City Police Department man who fell from his kayak,” said Coast Guard Petty Officer Erik Swanson.

Officer Luca’s body was found about a mile west of where his kayak was recovered and there was no evidence that he had been wearing a life vest.

“He was a young man, a strong young man with a small child,” said Commack resident Meredith Cuomo. “Something must have gone wrong.”

Investigators are still trying to determine how this tragedy unfolded.

“There were some items in the kayak that would have sunk if it had capsized,” said Suffolk County Police Marine Deputy Inspector Harold Jantzen. “Our opinion is it probably did not capsize.”

Luca and his 5-year-old son went out into Smithtown Bay on Friday in an inflatable kayak. Less than 90 minutes later, the boy was floating alone in the water and his father nowhere to be found.

Ted Sandomenico is the boater who spotted the boy. “It was just very, very lucky, that’s all,” said Sandomenico.

He asked the boy where he came from and what went wrong.

“He said he was with his dad and I said ‘Where’s your dad now?’ He said ‘My dad went under,'” said Sandomenico.

Shaken but uninjured, the boy was handed over to authorities. “He was checked out by the medics and they determined he was good to go home with his mother,” said Jantzen.

News of Luca’s passing was felt deeply by fellow members of the NYPD.

luca Police Investigating Death Of Patrick Luca, NYPD Officer Whose Body Was Recovered In LI Sound

(credit: CBS 2)

“It definitely hits home for us NYPD and the families of the NYPD who help each other out,” said NYPD officer Roy Sullo. “It’s definitely a loss for us.”

Those who knew Luca spoke highly of him. “He’s a fine police officer,” said friend Joel Reinleib. “A very caring family man, a great father figure.”

Friends hope to give support to his wife and family now coping with such an unimaginable loss.

“If she needs anything, anything at all, we’d be happy to do it,” said Reinleib.

In a statement, New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly expressed the department’s “deepest condolences” to Luca’s family and thanked  the Suffolk County police for their support.

Luca was on the force for more than 20 years and worked in the recruitment department.

Please offer your thoughts below…

  • Jenn Siesto

    I can’t believe some of these comments. If your loved one was missing I am sure that you would want the same response by police and rescue teams to help find them. When you are the ones suffering and worried you want the world searching. I pray to God that non of you that have commented will ever have to suffer the heart ache that my family has. The police, coast guard and everyone else that helped my family this past week were absolutely wonderful and we will be forever grateful.

  • Klaatu

    oops…meant to say suicide..

    • CS

      Maybe you should have read the article using all your brain cells. My 5 year old cousin didn’t drown. His father lost his life to save him. We miss my cousin dearly.

  • Marci

    May the family and friends of Patrick find peace from the memories they cherish. Sad day for everyone who knew Patrick.

  • MrCareAlot

    So sad. :( RIP father and Son and condolences to the wife

  • Bryan Forbes

    I can’t believe the heartless comments being left after such a tragic event. Would any of you have the guts to say these things to his wife’s face? The mentality behind these comments is almost as sad as the event itself. There are bad apples in every bunch but the police and firefighters I have known have been brave and selfless individuals who love their families and communities.

    • Lilly

      I agree Bryan. I’ve come to the conclusion that 85% of the population is unlikeable. These posts just prove me right. Bunch of judgemental cowards.

      • William

        Lilly, You need to make that 95% especially here in NY….. and it takes a lot for me to say that…. Born and live in Brooklyn for 40 years…. really sad!!

    • Klaatu

      oops…meant to say suicide….and you know what,. cops are not the most sypathetic members of our society…If you dont want to read comments then dont…stop being so self righteous…god….

  • Paul

    Pay the fine and the cost to tax payers. These people are above the law.

  • Ray Smelly

    R.I.P. Officer. But NYC residents didnt need the expense of NYPD officers rushing out of their jurisdiction to find a fellow officer who wasn’t on duty. I hope Ray Kelly or the PBA or anybody compensates NYC residents for this unjustified expense. After all, if it isn’t their jurisdiciton, then they shouldn’t be working there at all.

  • alison c.

    My heart goes out to Patrick’s family for all they now have to cope with. I hope that his loved ones can find the strength to get through this tragic loss. And despite the ridiculous and heartless comments that people feel compelled to write, I hope that Patrick’s family and friends find some comfort in knowing that there are others who only wish they could help. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • tax payer

    tax payers money at its best.

  • mil Money

    Cousin? I doubt it. Your disgusting, period.

  • NYS DEC Catskill Park Ranger

    I kayak all the time in upstate NYand ALWAYS wear my vest. Even so. It was an inflatable and he could have held on to it until help arrived. I wonder if he had a stroke or heart attack which caused him to fall out of the boat. My deepest heartfelt condolences to the family and friends. I hope his son will get over watching whatever transpired.

  • Josh

    @ sad day in nyc, your comment makes no sense at all. Did you even read the story? Didn’t you read that the cayak didn’t capsize? What does that suggest? smh….

    • Terry

      I know but he takes a tiny inflatable kayak with two people in it [an adult and a child] into wake lanes left by giant powerboats? That decision doesn’t demonstrate extreme brain power if you ask me. Well, he was a cop, a moron happy to wait 20 years for a taxpayer funded pension. But he put a child life at risk!

      • marymmg

        I swear to God I hope you have to call the police for an emergency one day and I hope they IGNORE your dumb ass. What a ridiculous, moronic, insensitive, amazingly callous post you write………Holy Lord have Mercy. Do you practice being that stupid and ignorant or were you born that way?

        My utmost thoughts and prayers go out to the Luca family. Perhaps he had a heart attack or something of the like? RIP Sir….God Bless. And if there is a way to assist your family, it would be an honor.

  • Jon-Paul Uriarte

    He was he loved his kids and his wife. He will be missed.

    • Jenn Siesto

      Thank you Jon. He definately loved them with all his heart. He is missed more and more each day.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Giving Tuesday
Charles Osgood Event

Listen Live