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Stamford Police Sergeant Honored For Work In Brutal Murder Case

Stamford police sergeant Sean McGowan received a Top Cop award for his work in the investigation into the murder of Stamford resident Joseph Comunale (pictured) who was murdered in Manhattan.
Stamford police sergeant Sean McGowan received a Top Cop award for his work in the investigation into the murder of Stamford resident Joseph Comunale (pictured) who was murdered in Manhattan. Photo Credit: Facebook

STAMFORD, Conn. — A Stamford police sergeant is being honored for his investigative work into the brutal murder of Stamford resident Joseph Comunale in Manhattan .

Sean McGowan was chosen to win Honorable Mention of the Top Cop Award from the National Association of Police Organizations, Stamford Police said on Facebook.

Related story: Fight over cigarettes leads to murder of Stamford man.

Nominations came from 50 states and the U.S. territories. Police officers from the Top 10 cases were selected. In each remaining state where nominations came from, one gets picked for Honorable Mention.

Stamford police Sgt. Kris Engstrand and Lt. Diedrich Hohn nominated McGowan for the award.

McGowan will receive the award May 12 at NAPO's 24th Annual Top Cops Award Dinner in Washington, D.C., during "Police Week."

Comunale, 26, was a 2008 graduate of Westhill High School and a 2012 graduate of Hofstra University. He worked as a sales associate at Tri-Ed in Elmsford, N.Y.

He was brutally stabbed to death Nov. 13 in a luxury Manhattan East Side apartment, police said. The murder was sparked by a fight over a cigarette, according to court evidence.

Three men are facing charges in the death, although none have been charged with murder. All three are charged with hindering prosecution and tampering with physical evidence, and two of them have been charged with concealment of a corpse.

Comunale was beaten unconscious after a night of partying, police said. After he was stabbed multiple times, his body was thrown from a fourth-floor window and buried in a shallow grave in Monmouth County, N.J., police said. His body was partially burned before it was buried in the remote area, police said.

Stamford police investigated when Comunale was first reported missing and then cooperated with the New York City police after his body was found.

Click here for information about NAPO.

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