Victim of Shelter Island invasion ID’d as retired priest

Posted: Updated:
SHELTER ISLAND -

An 87-year-old man may have been tied up for days before he was found bound in his Shelter Island home during a wellness check last week, police say.

Rescuers airlifted him to Stony Brook University Hospital.

Bishop Larry Provenzano of the Episcopal Diocese of Long Island says the victim is a retired Episcopal priest -- the Rev. Paul Wancura.

Provenzano says that Wancura didn't show up for a planned sermon in Central Islip on Sunday, prompting concerns.

He says the leader of the Central Islip church contacted St. Mary's on Shelter Island, where he knew Wancura lives. Another priest went to his home to check on him and found him tied up and barely conscious.

Provenzano says he has no idea what happened and that as a retired priest, Wancura doesn't have any valuables in his home.  

"Before, we thought this place was safe," says Ed Clarin, a neighbor. "We even leave the door opened, but now we have to make sure it's closed."

Elias Folkine, another Shelter Island resident, says he'd never heard of a violent break-in on Shelter Island in 21 years living there.

The details on the victim's condition were not immediately released. Police are asking anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

A $10,000 reward is being offered to find whoever is responsible for the attack.

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