Sunday, July 29, 2012
TOWN OF ULSTER, N.Y. — Lt. Anthony Cruise is convinced someone has talked by now about killing Michael Kleiman.
“What I believe is that somebody is talking about it, and that is what we are looking for,” said Cruise, the officer in charge of the town of Ulster Police Department.
It’s been just over four years since Kleiman’s body was found inside a torched pickup on July 25, 2008, in an isolated, wooded area between state Route 32 and Devil’s Lake Road in East Kingston, which is part of the town of Ulster.
The Nissan truck, parked on property that once was home to the Hudson Cement plant, had been set aflame with Kleiman’s lifeless body inside, police said at the time.
The truck’s license plate number was CGE-5199.
Police have theorized that Kleiman — who was 59, lived on Sundown Road in Kerhonkson and worked as a nurse’s aide at a children’s rehabilitation center in Westchester County — probably was killed someplace else and that his body was brought to the East Kingston site.
Since then, Cruise said, police have received hundreds of tips and leads, but nothing has led to a suspect.
Cruise said the case remains open and that his department is issued another plea for the public’s help.
“As far as a target (suspect), we don’t have that at this time, and that is why were asking the public for help,” he said on Friday.
Investigators are uncertain if the killer lives in the area. But it’s likely, Cruise said, that the person is intimately familiar with East Kingston and knew ahead of time about the isolated spot where Kleiman’s body was left.
Police have never comment on a possible motive in the killing, nor have they revealed the exact cause of Kleiman’s death.
Shortly after Kleiman was killed, police described him as “somewhat of a loner” and said he enjoyed going to antique fairs and antique stores. He also “frequented swimming quarries” throughout the county, they said at the time.
Cruise said police would like to hear from anybody with information about the case, particularly those who have noticed any of the following behavior among people: unscheduled absences from work, missing scheduled appointments, abrupt departure from the area (either temporarily or permanently) or interest in media coverage of the Kleiman killing.
FBI behavioral experts say these types of behaviors often are exhibited by murder suspects, Cruise said.
“Addtionally, police would like to hear from anyone who may have unknowingly provided the offender with transportation away from the East Kingston area or from the town (of Ulster) business district on July 25, 2008, between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m.,” a press release from the police department states.
“The town of Ulster Police Department, in conjunction with the New York State Police, are actively investigating this crime and believe, during the past four years, the offender has spoken to someone about this incident and are requesting the public’s help with any information they might have,” the press release states. “The police believe someone knows something about this incident.”
People who have information that they think can help investigators solve the Kleiman case can call the Ulster Police Department (845) 382-1111 or its tips line at (845) 336-3784; send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com; or send a letter to Ulster Police Department, Town Hall Drive, Lake Katrine, N.Y. 12449.
All tips will be kept confidential, Cruise said.
Kleiman’s family has offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer.