‘Nightmare’ Warehouse Fire Erases Evidence in Many Unsolved Cases

New York Times

By Corey Kilgannon, Hurubie Meko and Nate Schweber
The waterfront compound held everything from impounded vehicles to fibers from decades-old murders and cold cases. Credit: Andrew Seng for The New York Times

When a massive Police Department warehouse burned Tuesday, troves of evidence gathered over decades disappeared in a towering column of smoke or crumpled into soggy ruin, along with the possibility of justice in untold cases.

On Wednesday, debris scattered outside the Erie Basin Auto Pound, in Brooklyn’s Red Hook neighborhood, could only hint at the legal significance of what was lost to the three-alarm blaze the day before. The waterfront compound had held everything from souped-up vehicles seized from reckless drivers to forensic fibers from decades-old murders and cold cases.

Now soggy, crumpled boxes bearing fragments of bar codes slumped onto fire-hose-flooded streets. The sooty wreckage included a mélange of sneakers, basketball jerseys and women’s blouses, along with an array of fishnet stockings, panties and bras. Small plastic cylinders containing genetic material lay melted, or broken open and submerged in dirty water.

Publish : 2022-12-15 12:27:00

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