How a discarded fork helped Queens detectives crack a 15-year-old murder cold case

Queens cold case murder suspect bows head while being escorted by detective
Anthony Scalisi is escorted from the 105th Precinct stationhouse in Queens on May 30, 2024 to face arraignment after being indicted on second-degree murder for killing a relative in Ridgewood back in 2009.
Photo by Lloyd Mitchell

A thrown-out fork helped Queens detectives solve a 15-year-old murder case that led to a suspect’s arrest earlier this month.

Anthony Scalici was picked up in Florida on May 14 and brought back to Queens to face murder charges in connection with the 2009 death of Rosario Prestigiacomo, 64, who was stabbed to death inside his Ridgewood home on Feb. 10, 2009.

Officers from the 104th Precinct found the victim lying in a pool of his blood, having been stabbed some 16 times across his face, neck, and torso; he also suffered blunt force trauma to the head and body, law enforcement sources said.

Scalici, according to police, was Prestigiacomo’s nephew through marriage. The motive for the murder remains under investigation.

According to police sources and DA Melinda Katz, Anthony Scalici was extradited from Florida to the 105th Precinct for his alleged role in a 2009 homicide
According to police sources and DA Melinda Katz, Anthony Scalici was extradited from Florida to the 105th Precinct for his alleged role in a 2009 homicidePhoto by Lloyd Mitchell

The trail in the Prestigiacomo murder investigation went cold for more than a decade, with the NYPD Cold Case Squad and Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz’s Cold Case Unit eventually picking up where detectives had left off.

According to Katz’s office, genetic evidence helped cold case investigators finally solve the mystery.

Detectives had collected several swabs of DNA evidence from the scene and entered it into a national database. Through a family tree, police narrowed down a list of potential suspects, ultimately leading them to Scalici.

After gaining his DNA through a discarded fork, forensic investigators linked Scalisi’s DNA to the evidence they had recovered.

“I formed a Cold Case Unit to bring closure to grieving families and seek justice on behalf of victims. This case is an example of the perseverance and determination of the investigators on this, and every cold case, and highlights the successful partnership formed between my office and the NYPD Cold Case Squad. Defendants should not be able to evade justice no matter how much time has passed,” Katz said in a statement.

Scalici, whom a grand jury had indicted for second-degree murder, was apprehended in Boynton Beach, FL on May 14 by United States Marshals, NYPD’s Regional Fugitive Task Force and the Boynton Beach Police Department. On May 29, he was extradited to New York — and escorted out of the 105th Precinct stationhouse Thursday morning en route to his arraignment.

The suspect bowed his head before the cameras and did not answer reporters’ questions regarding the homicide.

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