Missing New Hyde Park man John Frankowski found dead; nephew Jonathan Roman charged with murder

Police say 71-year-old John Frankowski was strangled to death. His body was found in a wooded area behind the Grove Avenue home of 42-year-old Jonathan Roman, who is Frankowski's sister's son. (3/8/14)

HEMPSTEAD - A New Hyde Park man who had been missing for six days was found dead behind his nephew's Coram home on Friday, and the nephew has been charged with murder.

Police say 71-year-old John Frankowski was strangled to death. His body was found in a wooded area behind the Grove Avenue home of 42-year-old Jonathan Roman, who is Frankowski's sister's son.

The victim's son, John Frankowski Jr., says his father and cousin were in a dispute over an estate that was left to Frankowski and his sisters after their mother died last June. Frankowski, an accountant, was executor of the estate.

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"Apparently my father wasn't quick-moving enough for everyone, and so they took matters into their own hands," Frankowski Jr. said.

Roman did not respond to reporters' questions about his uncle's murder as he was being escorted by police to his arraignment today. Police say the victim was strangled to death after an argument.

Frankowski Jr. says he believes there may be more to the case. "Knowing the family the way we do, I have no reason to believe that he acted alone," he said.

Frankowski Jr. fondly remembered his father, who raised him and his sister as a single parent and worked until the day he died. "My father is probably the best man that anyone has ever met," he said. "He's supposed to be the best man at my wedding in three weeks, and now I can't even have a wedding because he's gone."

Roman pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder and was ordered held without bail. He is due back in court on March 11.

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