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Two NYC Men Arrested In Stabbing Death Of Stamford Man, 26

The body of Joey Comunale, who was reported missing Sunday, was found Wednesday in New Jersey. Photo Credit: Facebook
Joey Comunale was a graduate of Westhill High School and Hofstra University. Photo Credit: Instagram

STAMFORD, Conn. — The reported son of a celebrity jeweler and an accomplice were arrested Thursday in the gruesome stabbing death of a 26-year-old Stamford man at a party in a luxury Manhattan apartment and the subsequent burial of his body in a shallow grave in New Jersey, according to the New York Daily News.

James Rackover, 25, was charged with second-degree murder, concealment of a human corpse and tampering with evidence, the story said. He lived in the apartment on the Upper East Side where Joseph Comunale of Stamford was killed, the Daily News said.

Lawrence Dilione, 28, of Jersey City, N.J., was arrested on the same charges as well as hindering prosecution, police told the Daily News.

The killers attempted to burn Comunale's body after stabbing him 15 times and dumping his body in Oceanport, N.J., the Daily News said. They may have also thrown his body from the third-floor apartment, police told the Daily News.

The motive may have been that Comunale rejected the advances of one of the men inside the apartment, the Daily News said.

James Rackover is reportedly the son of Jeffrey Rackover, who has supplied jewels to the likes of Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Lopez, according to . There are questions about their true relationship.

The victim's father called for justice late Wednesday. From the front steps of his Westover Road home, Pat Comunale thanked police in Stamford, New York City and New Jersey for their work after he had identified the body of his son, the Stamford Advocate said.

Joey Comunale was last seen entering a luxury apartment at East 59th Street near First Avenue in Manhattan early Sunday morning for a party.

Comunale 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.

Many of his heartbroken friends took to Facebook to remember Comunale.

"Joey Comunale was never one to have a bad day, I can't recall one time ever seeing him upset with anything or anyone," said one post. "Always great to be around, carrying an upbeat and positive demeanor. All and all Joey was just someone you always wanted to hang around with. To hear the news of his passing is simply devastating."

Another post said, "It's with a heavy heart we say good-bye to you, Joey Comunale. You were always smiling, eager to make those around do the same. You changed countless lives, your brothers, your family, your friends, in ways that will carry on. The world will mourn a beautiful soul & pray for justice as you rest in peace."

Click here to read the story of the two arrests at the New York Daily News website.

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