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Family Of Slain NJ Barber Hopes For Break In Cold Case

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BLOOMINGDALE, N.J. (CBSNewYork ) — Three years after a barber was beaten to death in his Passaic County shop, the victim’s family is holding out hope that his killer or killers will still be caught.

As CBS 2’s John Slattery reported, Frank Halat, 79, was fatally attacked April 1, 2011, while alone in his shop on Main Street in Bloomingdale.

“Frank suffered severe trauma to the back of his head, and essentially some sort of object was used to strike him on the back of his head,” Bloomingdale Police Chief Joseph Borell said.

Frank’s widow, Mary Halat, 76, said he was struck many times and robbed.

“And they didn’t get any more than maybe 125, 150″ dollars, Mary Halat said. “He never carried a lot of money. They only took money in his pocket and his register.”

She said she remembers that day all too well.

“This is the day that really changed my life and my family’s life,” Mary Halat said.

She said she wonders if someone maybe saw that her husband had money when he visited a deli that morning.

Frank Halat, a father of five and grandfather, was so beloved that the street in front of his shop is now called Frank the Barber Boulevard.

At the floral shop across the street, Ed Devito remembered his old friend Tuesday.

Frank Halat was “a part of the community,” Devito said. “He was there for so long. You kind of miss him. It’s kind of empty there. His store’s still empty. No one’s taken it over.”

Mary Halat still hopes there will be a break in the cold case. Police said rewards for information in the case total about $10,000.

“If they did it once to somebody, they’re going to do it again,” Mary Halat said.

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