Investigation into Shelter Island priest's death following 'botched robbery' continues nearly 2 years later

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The death of a Shelter Island priest who was tied up and robbed inside his home remains unsolved nearly two years later.

Police say the Rev. Paul Wancura was a victim of a botched robbery, and that the beloved pastor may have been tied up for days before Father Charles McCarron got a call that Wancura didn't show up for a scheduled Mass.

McCarron, who heads up Saint Mary's Episcopal Church, went to Wancura's home to check on him and discovered the 87-year-old barely alive

"Right away I called 911, and it didn't look good and they were going to helicopter him to Stony Brook and they didn't know if he was going to make it. He was in really bad shape," says McCarron.

Wancura remained alive for several weeks but died April 16. He was buried in the graveyard of Setauket's Caroline Church, where he served as the pastor for many years.

No one has been arrested for the crime, which sent a ripple of distrust and fear through the quiet Shelter Island community. Police officials will only say the investigation is ongoing.

Wancura was remembered for his faith and love of God.

"That his life would end like this, who would have ever thought," says McCarron. "So random and bizarre."

There is still a $10,000 reward by Suffolk police for information leading to an arrest. Anyone who may be able to help should call 1-800-220-TIPS.

 

 

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