Nassau police investigating a death at a North Bellmore residence found a body in a shallow grave on the property — that of an elderly man who likely committed suicide.
“In keeping with his wishes, however misguided it might have been, [he] wanted to be buried on the property and that is in fact what we found,” Nassau County Chief of Detectives Kevin Smith said. “This is the way he wanted to be put to rest.”
Smith declined to identify the man, who he described as a “senior member of the household” on Pea Pond Road. The victim, believed to be in his 80s, was a decorated war hero and served in Vietnam and possibly Korea, Smith said.
The cause of death appears to be a self-inflicted gunshot wound, he said.
A 911 caller alerted police at 9 a.m. on Thursday regarding a possible homicide at the home, police said.
Crime scene investigators found the man’s remains in the rear of the house. The grave that was dug in the back of the home was no more than two feet deep, Smith said.
Smith could not say if there will be charges filed. The county medical examiner will determine the man’s cause of death.
It is against state law to dispose of a body in such a manner. Last year, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a law that would strengthen penalties against anyone who buried a body in hopes of hiding it.