Cops have arrested a man they say is responsible for the brutal murder of a Long Island motivational speaker and investigators are looking for two other suspects, law enforcement officials said today.
Kenneth Minor, 36, was expected to be arraigned later Wednesday on a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Jeff Locker.
The suspect, who was taken into custody this morning, told police he assisted Locker, 52, in his own suicide -- despite the fact the victim was stabbed seven times, bound and strangled, according to The New York Post.
Minor was seen on security cameras both inside Locker's sedan and later using the victim's ATM card, said Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.
Detectives had been searching for a woman and two men caught on surveillance tape making ATM withdrawals with the debit card of Locker minutes after he was murdered in East Harlem, cops said. The group, described only as in their mid-20s and black, took out $200 from each of seven different machines near where Jeff Locker's mutilated body was discovered Thursday morning slumped behind the wheel of his 2007 Dodge sedan, according to the Post.
The suspect -- 36-year-old Kenneth Minor -- told cops Locker paid him with his ATM card to kill him. Minor said Locker wanted his family to be able to cash in on his life insurance policy. Authorities said Locker was tortured for his pin number.
Minor, who was charged with second-degree murder, told cops the name of his female partner-in-crime and a manhunt for her was underway this morning, the Post reported.
Locker's wife, Lois, told cops her husband had called her hours earlier to say he'd be late because he was stuck in Harlem with a flat tire. That would be the last time Lois Locker spoke with her husband. Late Wednesday night, she called Nassau County cops to report her husband never made it to their Valley Stream home.
Authorities said the man had been planning to meet up with a girlfriend, according to the Post. Locker called a phone number in his girlfriend's apartment building and got a return call from that number, police said. Cops were also checking to see if the 52-year-old family man had a regular appointment with a prostitute in the nearby Wagner Houses, according to the New York Daily News.
Locker purchased condoms and a bottle of water at a deli on Second Avenue at about 3 a.m. -- an hour before he was slain.
"He seemed cool, relaxed," said Whitney Young, 19, told the News. "The next time we see him, he's here dead."
In his conversation with his wife, Locker casually mentioned that a man and woman were helping him with the flat, according to the Post, which led investigators to theorize he may had fallen victim to a good Samaritan scam in which seeming do-gooders are actually setting a trap.
According to his Web site, Locker worked with business people, coaching them to be their best.
"Locker is an inspirational keynote speaker known as the business spiritualist: he is committed to bringing more peace - joy and fulfillment to sales people, managers, executives, entrepreneurs, and professionals, his Web site said.
"He probably trusted someone," his mother-in-law, Annette Serota told the News. "He was a very trusting person. That's probably how it happened. You could sell him the Brooklyn Bridge."