Investigators determined a human skull found in Ronkonkoma two years ago Monday belongs to a man whose torso was discovered at a Melville landfill seven years prior, Suffolk County police told the Press.
Authorities identified the 36-year-old victim as Ali A. Fakhri. He is the son of popular Pakistani television actor Jamil Fakhri, who died in 2011. A bicyclist happened upon the victim’s skull in the woods north of Express Drive North in Ronkonkoma on Saturday, Aug. 20, 2016. The Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) matched the skull to remains found Monday, May 11, 2009 at 110 Sand Company on Spagnoli Road in Melville, authorities said.
“We believe that it’s an isolated case,” Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer, commander of the Homicide Squad, told the Press.
Police had neither announced they determined the victim’s name after the 2009 discovery nor publicly confirmed the link to 2016 find until the Press followed up.
“Although we now have a name, it’s just a shame its up to journalists and concerned citizens to flesh out the whole story, rather than this being open communication between the police department and the public,” said Joshua Zeman, the filmmaker behind The Killing Season, a docu-series about the Long Island Serial Killer case.
Pakastani media outlets had reported that the victim’s father had made public calls for help finding his son, who was reported missing three months before his torso was found. But American media had not been alerted to the news.
“My son had no personal enmity with anyone,” Jamil told reporters in 2010 after publicly appealing to Pakistani diplomats for help getting his son’s body returned, according to The Express Tribune. The newspaper reported that the victim, the oldest of the actor’s four sons, was a divorced taxi driver with a masters in business who had lived in the United States for a decade before his murder.
Landfill employees moving debris made the initial discovery nine years ago, authorities have said.
“Somebody dismembered him and disposed of him there,” former Suffolk Homicide Det. Sgt. Edward Fandry told Newsday in 2009, adding that the torso had been there for a day or two before being found.
A bicyclist made the 2016 discovery. The skull was believed to have been in the woods for an extended period.
Homicide Squad detectives are continuing the investigation and ask anyone with information on the case to call them at 631-852-6392 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will remain confidential.