Det. Dennis Wustenhoff and his vehicle, which was parked in Patchogue...

Det. Dennis Wustenhoff and his vehicle, which was parked in Patchogue at the time of the explosion.

Just before noon on Feb. 15, 1990, Suffolk Det. Dennis Wustenhoff left his North Patchogue home, attempted to start a Cadillac Eldorado, and died shortly after a bomb exploded through the vehicle.

The anguish of that day and the tough weeks that followed has never left his family — including his wife Francine, son Kevin and daughters Melissa and Jennifer — and it’s only been compounded by the fact that no one has been arrested in the undercover narcotics officer’s death

On Friday, Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart announced the FBI will review the case. Suffolk County Crime Stoppers is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone with information that leads to an arrest.

“It has been 30 years and Detective Wustenhoff’s murder remains unsolved, therefore it is important that the department takes advantage of every resource available,” Hart said in a statement. “Detective Wustenhoff’s family, along with colleagues from the department, deserve justice in this case.”

Suffolk Police Chief of Detectives Gerard Gigante said the FBI will review evidence to see if new techniques or technology will spark fresh leads, noting the significance of the murder's anniversary.

"Significant dates on the timeline can help motivate somebody to cooperate with police," Gigante said.

“We are looking for the help of the general public … to hopefully, see justice served on behalf of a man who can’t speak for himself anymore,” said Det. Wustenhoff's son, Kevin Wustenhoff, who also is a Suffolk police officer.

FBI officials did not return calls late Friday afternoon seeking comment on why the bureau has now agreed to probe Wustenhoff's case three decades after his murder.

Wustenhoff's daughter, Melissa Scelsi, 40, of Smithtown, said Friday that Suffolk police brass — including Hart, First Deputy Commissioner James Skopek and Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer, who leads the homicide squad — met with her, her siblings and their mother at the department's headquarters in Yaphank Monday for an update on the investigation.

Scelsi said Hart pledged a commitment during the hourslong meeting.

"She seemed dedicated and motivated in getting this solved. I'm hopeful she stands by her word," Scelsi said. "When you hear the FBI, they have a lot more advanced technology. They have new ways of doing things, they have fresh eyes. … I feel encouraged."

Another police officer was identified as a suspect in the immediate aftermath of the killing — police sources told Newsday at the time that Wustenhoff had had an affair with the man's wife — but no charges were brought.

Scelsi said she wants the public to know: "My dad was a really good person. … He did a lot of great things for his family, his community, his police department."

Suffolk detectives in 2005 said they had identified people who might have had information in the case and the Wustenhoff family in recent weeks launched a Facebook page seeking information on the unsolved killing, which Scelsi said helped the family gain momentum in urging investigators to take a closer look at the homicide.

Kevin Wustenhoff on Friday remembered his father as a “huge believer in doing the right thing — all the time.”

“He really believed in being a police officer, which is always doing the right thing,” he said. “He was a tremendous trainer in instilling integrity in people.”

Scelsi was only 10 when her father was murdered. She is now married with two children, a 19-month-old girl and 10-year-old boy. Her last fond memory of her father was a daddy-daughter dance at her elementary school on Valentine's Day, the day before his death.

"He took off (work) to spend the night with me. I felt very special," she said. "He was always the cool dad with the long hair and beard."

An arrest in the case would not bring her father back, but would give her family a sense of justice being served, Scelsi said.

"It's not acceptable for someone to be out there 30 years later, walking freely, enjoying their life, with their kids and with their grandkids. And we're the ones who suffer," she said.

Anyone with information can submit an anonymous tip by calling 800-220-TIPS, or utilizing a mobile app that can be downloaded through the App Store or Google Play by searching P3 Tips or online at All calls, text messages and emails will be kept confidential.

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