The Brooklyn man whose body was found earlier this week in Sheepshead Bay with his feet encased in a bucket of cement was suffocated with duct tape, the city medical examiner has ruled.
The tape found on the body had been placed over the mouth and nose of Peter Martinez, 28, and the cause of death was listed as asphyxia, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner said Friday. The findings confirm initial suspicions of police that Martinez, a reputed member of the Crips, had been suffocated.
Martinez’s body had been in the water two to three months when a student passing by noticed it and called police. The corpse had been wrapped in black plastic bags and the feet placed in cement in an apparent effort to keep the body submerged, police said.
Martinez bore a tattoo of the virgin Mary on his back, a clue that helped cops identify the remains.
A man with a rap sheet containing 31 arrests, Martinez reportedly disappeared owing money on the street. One of Martinez’s arrests stemmed from a case of criminal possession of a forged instrument for which he served about two years in state prison, according to correction records.
Police think the dispute that led to Martinez’s death involved drugs, although Friday an NYPD spokesman said there was nothing new in the investigation.