His disappearance on Thursday sparked a massive manhunt. Now we’re saddened to report that a veteran NYPD homicide detective has been found dead of an apparent suicide.
The body of Joe Calabrese, 58, was found near bushes in Plumb Beach in Brooklyn Thursday afternoon. He was dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, according to police sources.
“I don’t understand it. I don’t understand why he would do this,” a stunned police officer who knew Calabrese told the New York Post.
The detective had been was assigned to the Brooklyn South homicide squad. Police say he was a longtime Detectives Endowment Association board member and union trustee.
“I am shocked and shattered beyond belief,” said Michael Palladino, president of the DEA. “Joseph Calabrese was a dedicated detective, union official, husband and father. He was the salt of the earth.”
The last time anyone had heard from him was around 2 a.m., after he left Maimonides Medical Center in Borough Park. That’s where sources say his wife had undergone a minor procedure.
At around 3 a.m., his black Cadillac sedan was found by another detective near the beach just off the Belt Parkway, about five minutes from his home.
Calabrese didn’t report to work Thursday and nobody was able to get in touch with him.
Early Thursday morning, at least 100 uniformed and plainclothes officers swarmed the parking lot of the Plumb Beach rest area where his vehicle was parked.
Two men were seen collapsing in the arms of detectives on the beach.
It’s the second high profile death of an NYPD member this week.
On Wednesday night, an NYPD chief shot himself in the head while sitting in an unmarked patrol car.
According to sources, it happened just weeks before his scheduled mandatory retirement.
Steven Silks was just 62-years-old. He was the deputy chief of Queens North. Police say he was found shot in a parking lot a few blocks from his office at the 112thPrecinct Station house at about 6:30 p.m.
He was taken to Elmhurst Hospital, where he died.
“It’s terrible he would find himself in that place,” a Queens detective said. “Say a prayer for his family.”
A police source reported told The New York Post that Silks “absolutely lived for the NYPD.”
“He loved what he did. He was admired and loved by everybody. It’s heartbreaking,” the officer said.
On Tuesday, Silks handed in his paperwork at an NYPD union office and his last day was scheduled to be July 9.
The NYPD’s forces retirement at 63.
The president of the Detectives’ Endowment Association is Michael Palladino. He said he was “shocked and saddened” to hear about Silk’s death.
“He had such enthusiasm for the job and for life itself which makes this difficult to understand,” Palladino said in a statement. “He was one of the nicest human beings I ever met.”