Landlord dies after picking up package left on tenants' porch for days

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Candace McCowan has more on the man's death from Springfield Gardens.

The NYPD released a sketch on Wednesday night of a man they're looking to speak with in connection with the package explosion in Queens last week that killed a man.

The explosion that killed 73-year-old George Wray is also now being investigated as a murder, according to police.

NYPD investigators looking into the incident revealed Wednesday that Wray was not the intended target of the package, nor was anyone else living in the building, but they now have a good idea who or what the actual target was.

Police say the cylinder left on the front porch of the Springfield Gardens home was filled with a black powder, similar to the kind used in fireworks.
It ultimately exploded when Wray opened it, creating a firework style bang and causing burns to over 80 percent of his body.
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David Novarro has the latest on the investigation to the package explosion that killed a landlord.


Wray, 73, died on Tuesday after being badly burned when he opened a mysterious package that exploded on Friday. It was the shape of an oatmeal container and left on his doorstep in Queens.

The victim, who is the building's landlord, died at Nassau University Medical Center after sustaining second- and third-degree burns over 80-percent of his body.
The incident happened in front of a house that is rented to two families on 222nd Street in Springfield Gardens.

Police say the package was sitting on the front stoop for a number of days.

Wray picked up the round cylinder that police say was packed with black powder, and it exploded.

The name on the package was not anyone who lives at that address, investigators said.


NYPD Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce says the explosive was rigged to detonate when someone opened it. He says the blast left behind "substantial evidence."

One resident of the home saw the package for several days and even touched it.

"We didn't think nothing of it, my dad was actually holding it and he was like, 'is this for us?' and I said it's not for us," said Kathleen Toussint. "I said just put it outside and I guess they'll pick it back up, to whoever it needs to go to they'll find it. And the landlord came and he saw it during the week and I guess he realized it was still sitting there and he decided he wanted to open it I guess, and that's what happened."

Police say there was no evidence of shrapnel, just black powder.


The U.S. Postal Service released a statement:
"This matter is currently under investigation with law enforcement and we cannot provide further comment at this time."

Police didn't think the package had been sent through the mail.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Related Topics:
explosionfireu.s. & worldNew York
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