Tears Flow As Neighbors Learn Of Death Of Beloved Melvin Vargas

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — There was shock and disbelief in a Brooklyn community after a 53-year-old man was found murdered in his apartment.

Police said he was stabbed over and over again.

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They wore the faces of grief.

They were Melvin Vargas’ Prospect-Lefferts Gardens neighbors, as his body was finally taken to the morgue on Thursday.

Most of the folks had lived in the building with Vargas for more than 25 years. In fact, one man lived in an apartment below. He is the one who found Vargas’ body Thursday morning, with the super and building manager. But he said he would not cross the threshold once they saw the legs.

Vargas had been stabbed repeatedly. You see, the man who found the body was Melvin Vargas’ brother.

“When they opened the door, we saw everything broken and there was blood on the wall,” Sal Vargas told CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.

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An air conditioner was spotted in a nearby alley. It had been pushed through the sleeve of the apartment wall, along with several other items from the apartment, as if there was a fierce struggle.

Detectives have been told of a troubled former girlfriend Vargas broke up with a year ago. And CBS 2 News has learned security cameras at the building captured video of that woman leaving with a box after the murder, a box detectives now have.

“Everybody loved this guy. He was the heart of the family,” nephew Vinny Ortiz said.

Paramedics were later called for Vargas’ mother. Family members had tried to keep the horrible news from her, but she found out and collapsed.

Vargas’ mother was not taken to the hospital. Under the circumstances, she is now said to be doing better.

The investigation into Melvin Vargas’ death is ongoing.

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