By Carey Codd

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NEW YORK (CBSMiami) – A South Florida man whose criminal history began in Broward County in 2007 is being investigated in the stabbing death of a Connecticut man in New York City.

New York City police detectives led James Rackover away in handcuffs Thursday night as he’s being investigated for the gruesome murder of a Connecticut man inside Rackover’s upscale Manhattan apartment.

Police said Rackover is also James Beaudoin from Broward County.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office sent CBS4 eight mugshots of Beaudoin, dating back to when he was arrested for strong armed robbery when he was just 16 years old.

Court records show Beaudoin was also arrested for drug possession and burglary in Broward and spent more than a year in a Florida prison before being released to live with family in a Fort Lauderdale neighborhood.

Emily Murray knows Beaudoin and his family.

“It’s shocking. It’s scary,” she said. “He’s driven my son, when he was 2, he would drive on the long skateboard with my son. Glad I never left him alone with my son.”

According to New York City police, Beaudoin and another man are being investigated for murdering Joseph Comunale, stabbing him more than a dozen times, throwing his body from a fourth story window and burying him in a shallow grave near the Jersey Shore.

“(There was) an effort to burn his body,” said Robert Boyce, of the NYPD. “We have gasoline at the crime scene.”

Police said it appears someone tried to clean up the crime scene inside Beaudoin’s apartment, where detectives said they found dozens of pieces of evidence.

“Blood on clothing, substantial,” Boyce said. “We also have bleach on clothing as well in order to cover up blood.”

The father of Joseph Comunale said his son should be alive today.

“I think that you can see by what happened to him, these were horrible people,” said Pat Comunale. “He was loved by everybody. He had hundreds of friends. He didn’t deserve this.”

A grand jury will look at the evidence and determine if Beaudoin and his alleged accomplice will face murder charges.

Beaudoin is in jail on $300,000 bond and right now faces charges of concealing a corpse, tampering with evidence and hindering prosecution. He’s due in court on Monday.

Beaudoin’s life apparently changed when he reached New York.

Reports state Beaudoin became the adopted son of celebrity jeweler Jeffery Rackover and even took Rackover’s last name.

Murray said she was told that Beaudoin went to New York to become a fashion model and she said she can only pray the reports about the man she knows are wrong.

“I just pray that he’ll do the right thing and come forward if it was him, if he did that,” Murray said.

CBS4 News tried to speak with Beaudoin’s family in Fort Lauderdale tonight but they said to leave them alone.


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