NEW YORK (AP) -- After nearly 30 years on the run, a man suspected of faking his own death returned to court Wednesday to face a murder charge in the death of a retired police officer's son.
Joseph Scudiero, 65, said he was innocent of the murder of George Kelly, 28, an insurance salesman who was shot to death in 1971 after a dispute in a Greenwich Village bar.
Scudiero's relatives have said that on July 4, 1972, the day before Scudiero was to go to trial in the slaying, two men in a white sedan seized him and drove him away. The car was later found riddled with bullets and scattered with Scudiero's blood.
The New York Daily News reported Wednesday, citing unidentified sources, that investigators believe Scudiero may have faked his own death -- and even splashed vials of his own blood in the sedan to convince them he had been killed.
Authorities suspected at the time that the disappearance may have been a ploy, but could not find Scudiero.
Scudiero's lawyer, Mathew Mari, said Wednesday he did not know whether his client had faked his own death.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.