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Tuesday
Nov202012

NY Police Seek Man Possibly Seen Near Two Murders

Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- New York police are seeking to question a man they've dubbed "John Doe Duffel Bag" in connection with the slayings of three men of Middle Eastern descent after surveillance tape appears to place him in the vicinity of two of the murders.

The middle-aged white man was spotted on cameras around 6 p.m. near the She She boutique in the Flatbush neighborhood, where 78-year-old Rahmatollah Vahidipour was found dead at 7:11 p.m. Friday. Police said he is likely the person captured on fuzzier video from near the site of the second of the three slayings.

The second video, from Aug. 2, appears to show "John Doe Duffel Bag" near the Bensonhurst shop where Isaac Kadare was murdered with the same .22 caliber gun that was used to kill Vahidipour, sources told ABC News.

NYPD sources tell ABC News that authorities are determining his identity in an effort to bring him in for questioning.

The trio of killings took place within a five mile radius of each other, and each occurred at a small shop that lacked security cameras, and each victim was over 50, police said. It was also not clear whether the victims were robbed. Shell casings from the gun used in Vahidipour's murder match the casings found at two other murders scenes this summer.

The FBI has complied with a NYPD request for a profiler to help identify who might have killed these three people.

Vahidipour, an Iranian Jew, was killed with three gunshot wounds to the head and torso. His body was dragged to the back of the store and covered with merchandise, WABC reported. The body was discovered at 7:11 p.m.

Surveillance cameras caught footage of "John Doe Duffel Bag," along with three other potential witnesses to the killing, within the area between 6 p.m. and 6: 52 p.m.

On July 6, clothing store owner Mohamed Gebeli, an Egyptian Muslim, was killed inside Valentino Fashion in Bay Ridge. Gebeli was shot in the neck and was found with several pieces of clothing on top of him. Police said $383 in receipts was missing, but $1,500 was found inside a cabinet.

On Aug. 2, Kadare, a Jewish man of Egyptian descent, was found dead at the Amazing 99 Cents Deal store that he owned in Bensonhurst. Kadare had been shot in the temple and had three stab wounds to the neck. His face was covered with an aluminum tray and bleach had been splashed on his pants. It wasn't clear if anything had been taken from Kadare's store.

Police said they are not sure if the homicides were racially motivated.

Rewards of $22,000 in each of the homicides are being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the crimes.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio