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Long IslandSuffolk

Cops: Autopsy needed to ID Manorville fire victim

About 100 firefighters were battling a blaze that broke out Thursday afternoon in a commercial-residential building on Herbert Avenue near Main Street, prompting the evacuation of residents and businesses. Videojournalist: Howard Schnapp and Jim Staubitser (March 14, 2013)

As arson investigators sifted for clues in the burned-out shell of Charles Robert Woolsey's farmhouse in Manorville Thursday, police said they were awaiting autopsy findings on the identity and cause of death of a woman whose body was found a day earlier in the home.

The body was retrieved Wednesday morning from the secluded home at 218 Eastport-Manor Rd., where the owner faced eviction for nonpayment of more than a $250,000 in property taxes.

Woolsey, 68, a would-be grower of wine grapes, lived for nearly two decades on the 15-acre property with his wife, Georgianna, 62. He was known to neighbors as a reclusive and confrontational man who sometimes carried -- and fired -- long guns and was embroiled in a series of local and federal legal suits.

Woolsey remained in Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center's emergency room Thursday, hospital officials said. He was taken there for smoke inhalation, police said.

Det. Lt. Jack Fitzpatrick, the Suffolk Police homicide squad commander, has not yet publicly accounted for the whereabouts of Georgianna Woolsey, a longtime employee at a BJ's Warehouse in Riverhead. Police were awaiting autopsy and test results, Fitzpatrick said Thursday: "I suspect that we're not going to get any ID soon because it's probably going to have to be based on DNA."

Charles Woolsey had been scheduled to appear Wednesday in Sixth District Court in Patchogue to answer Suffolk County's eviction notice, said county spokeswoman Vanessa Baird-Streeter.

The county took over Woolsey's deed in October 2010 because he had failed to pay taxes since 2005, the county said.

With Sophia Chang and Ellen Yan

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