Officials: Ex-LI teacher in child porn case Michael Reiner found dead

This 2012 photo provided by New York State This 2012 photo provided by New York State Police shows former elementary school teacher Michael Reiner, who was released from prison last year after serving 6 years, but was still being supervised by probation officers. Photo Credit: AP

advertisement | advertise on newsday

A body found Thursday on a bank of the Hudson River in upstate Dutchess County has been identified as that of a former Long Island teacher who had apparently taken his own life after serving a sentence for child pornography, officials said Monday.

The body of Michael Reiner, 52, who had disappeared from a federal halfway house in Brooklyn on May 30, was identified through medical records, said State Police Capt. Pierce Gallagher.

A credit card in Reiner's name also was found in a pants pocket on the body, sources said.

Reiner, who had taught fourth, fifth and sixth grades for almost 20 years at the Long Island School for the Gifted in Huntington Station, apparently had committed suicide by jumping off a bridge more than 100 feet high across the Hudson near Wappingers Falls, Gallagher said.

Reiner last year completed a 78-month prison sentence on the child pornography charges, but was living in the Brooklyn halfway house because he could not find a suitable apartment, officials said. The rules of the halfway house required he return each night, but on May 30, he did not, officials said. Consequently, a federal warrant was issued for his arrest.

Reiner's name had been placed on the list of registered sex offenders the day before, officials said.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

He died apparently on the same day he did not return to the halfway house, sources said. Personal papers and what appeared to be a suicide note were mailed by Reiner to a relative from a post office about 30 miles south of Wappingers Falls on May 30, sources said.

The relative did not return phone calls Monday.

Reiner's original case drew media attention because he operated a website focusing on those who fantasized about the torturing and cannibalism of children, according to a federal prosecutor.

@Newsday

But there was no suggestion that Reiner acted on his fantasies and the website had a disclaimer saying it was "entirely fictional" and "intended for entertainment purposes only" and did not condone "any harmful action."

At the time of his 2006 arrest on child pornography charges, although he was fired from the school, some parents of his students defended him as an excellent, caring teacher.

One parent said then that officials were "focusing on a website, not an act." The parent said: "The man they are calling a cannibal is a vegetarian."

You also may be interested in: