16 The Queens Courier • may 9, 2013 for breaking news visit www.queenscourier.com ‘Stepson’ charged with murder in death of Ridgewood man BY MAGIE HAYES firstname.lastname@example.org Twenty-seven-year-old Derek Tudor has been charged with murder after he confessed to killing his mother’s boyfriend Frank Soucie, whose body was recovered from Soucie’s backyard in Ridgewood last week. District Attorney Richard Brown said criminal charges indicate Tudor intentionally suffocated Frank Soucie, 60, some time between Sunday, April 21 and Sunday, April 28 in or around Soucie’s home. Soucie was thought to be missing until a neighbor reported Tudor acting suspiciously to the local precinct on Tuesday, April 30. Police responded to the call and searched the area. They searched the building’s rooftop, where investigators allegedly found a knotted electrical cord and a bottle of ammonia. On the roof of a connected building, they found a large plastic bin and what appeared to be blood. Police also found visible drag marks leading to the back of the building, according to the district attorney. In Soucie’s backyard, police found a fresh pile of dirt. Underneath, they found a male’s body wrapped in sheets, later determined to be Soucie. According to the medical examiner’s office, Soucie died as a result of homicidal asphyxiation. Neighbors said Soucie lived with his girlfriend, Stephanie Verni, and her son in Soucie’s Ridgewood apartment and that the couple often argued about the son. The neighbors also said Soucie wanted Tudor to move out. On Tuesday morning, eight days after Soucie went missing, Tudor was seen wandering inside Soucie’s building. He walked into a third-floor apartment, where a tenant found him. Tudor seemed “panicked” and asked to use the fire escape to get into Soucie’s second-floor apartment just below, said the tenant’s boyfriend, Raymond Velez. “It was weird how this kid was acting,” Velez told The Queens Courier. Moments later, neighbors saw Tudor come out of the building with a large white laundry bag. He threw it into a garbage can, and Velez, who was outside, went to investigate. Velez said he opened the bag and found what appeared to be burnt clothes inside layers of black garbage bags. He said the clothes gave off a burning, chemical smell. At 6:15 p.m. that same day, Tudor went with his biological father to the 102nd Precinct and turned himself in. According to the police source, he made statements incriminating himself and was later charged with murder. Tudor was arrested for forcible touching in 2010. He was also arrested for jumping a turnstile. Neighbors in the tight-knit Ridgewood community are distraught somebody could do this to their longtime friend. “He would never hurt a fly,” said Debbie Webster, who knew Soucie for more than The body of Frank Soucie, 60, was found in his Ridgewood backyard. His girlfriend’s son has been charged in his murder. 20 years. “When we found out he was missing, we knew something had happened. He didn’t deserve something like this.” Tudor was arraigned on Thursday, May 3 on charges of second-degree murder. He Photo via Facebook was ordered held without bail and will return to court on Wednesday, May 15. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years to life in prison, according to the district attorney. Repeated calls to Tudor’s attorney were unanswered as of press time. SHOPPERS’ DREAM JAMAICA SET TO GET DEPARTMENT STORE BY MAGIE HAYES email@example.com Some 35 years ago, if you lived in Brooklyn or Queens and wanted to shop, Jamaica was the place to go. The retail hub has since declined, with those department stores still standing all closed. The neighborhood is looking to make a comeback with a new department store and other development. “This will build up the economy of the whole region,” said Fred Winters, spokesperson for the Greater Jamaica Development Corporation (GJDC). “Other stores want to be close to the department store. This is a very big deal.” The site of the store is bordered by 90th Street, 169th Street, Jamaica Avenue and Merrick Boulevard. A 160,000-square-foot retail space will dominate one side of the street, with a 500-car garage on the other side. Construction is expected to start in about two years. Blumenfeld Development Group (BDG), a leading retail developer in the metropolitan area, is taking on the project in cooperation with GJDC. Other sites built by BDG include Manhattan’s East River Plaza and The Arches in Deer Park on Long Island. “To build the space with a department store in mind is a very big deal,” Winters said. “There aren’t many sites in Jamaica that are appropriate for a department store anymore.” “It symbolizes the way greater Jamaica and all the other civic groups have helped Jamaica really turn a corner economically,” he added.
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