Mistake Puts Brighton Beach Boy In Unmarked Grave

Cemal Cansev

A Brighton Beach dad is grappling with the heartbreaking news that his young son, discovered drowned in the waters off the 69


Street Pier in Bay Ridge, is never coming home.

For more than eight years, Sahil Cansev prayed that his 16-year-old son Cemal, a student at Lincoln High School, would be found, but the devastated dad’s hopes were shattered in February when cops showed up at his door with the double grim news that not only had his son’s body finally been identified, but, according to a Daily News report, because of the advanced state of decomposition from prolonged exposure to the elements, the medical examiner’s office “originally misidentified the boy as a 25-year-old Asian man” and had mistakenly buried him in an unmarked pauper’s grave.

Cansev tirelessly followed every lead, which took him all over the country as far west as California and as far north as Maine, never giving up hope for his son, whom he described in the Daily News article as a “good kid — a homebody who was never in trouble and not involved in gangs.”

The 54-year-old immigrant from Turkey and his family, denied closure since Cemal was first reported missing on June 27, 2003, are suing the city for what he calls a “scandal” because, he says, he doesn’t want “any other family to suffer the way that I have.”

According to Cansev’s family lawyer, James Greenberg, “The city of New York handled the death of Cemal Cansev ineptly, conducting an incomplete and substandard investigation.”

“City employees failed to access available public records that would have enabled proper identification of the body. As a result of the city’s negligence, this family was tortured for eight years instead of eight days.”