A 54-year-old man was found dead in an apartment on 81st street late Wednesday morning and police have classified his death as a homicide. The man has been identified as Zabary Savyon. An NYPD detective said it appears that Savyon was strangled, although she had no further details. No arrests have been made. (A Savion Zabar is also listed as living at 155 West 81st Street, but it’s not clear if this is the same person.
“Zabar, known by his friends as ‘Big Ben’, was an openly gay ‘icon in NYC nightlife,'” according to ABC News.
In April, a man was robbed at gunpoint in that building, and the super told Pix11 News that “the victim owns a club in midtown and has been robbed in the past.” The victim was not identified in that story, but he was listed as a 53-year-old man, which makes it possible that it was Savyon.
Police released the following details about the homicide.
“On Wednesday, January 4, 2016, at approximately 1027 hours Police responded to a 911 call of an aided male inside of 155 West 81 Street located within the confines of the 20 Precinct. Upon arrival officers observed a 54-year-old male unresponsive and unconscious with no visible trauma to the body. EMS responded and pronounced the male deceased at the scene, the Medical Examiner will determine the cause of death. No arrests have been made and the investigation is still on going.”
This is the first homicide in more than a year in the 20th precinct.
Correction: we initially wrote incorrectly that the victim was found in the evening.
Stay tuned for more updates on this story.