A nine-year homicide investigation has ended with a Kensington man being extradited from Belize and charged Tuesday with murdering a 47-year-old Staten Island woman, whose body was found in an alleyway behind the Kent movie theater on Coney Island Avenue in 2005, according to police and published reports.
Michael Young, 39, who the NYPD said lived on Ocean Parkway near Ditmas Avenue before fleeing the country, has been charged with second-degree murder after allegedly killing Sofia Rogonicka, described as a hard-working Polish immigrant with two children and three grandchildren whose death sent waves of shock through her community. While police spelled the victim’s name as “Sofia Rogonicka,” published reports have spelled it as “Zofia Rogowicka.”
According to the city medical examiner, the victim had been beaten and strangled to death.
Authorities say that U.S. officials learned Young had been residing in Belize after he supposedly applied for a U.S. passport at the United States embassy there. It’s unclear when investigators first discovered Young’s attempt at obtaining a passport, or how long he had been living in Belize.
“He was arrested through diligent police work,” said an NYPD spokesman.
Prior to that, police say the suspect had eluded authorities for almost a decade after fleeing the country one week after Ms. Rogowicka’s body was found wrapped in sheets and blankets and stuffed in a cardboard barrel in the alley behind a movie theater on Coney Island Avenue on Dec. 14, 2005.