Suspicious Fire Plus Suicide Attempt Add up to Murder Charges Against Ex-Husband

By Hasani Gittens
|  Monday, Aug 30, 2010  |  Updated 4:18 PM EDT
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Suspicious Fire Plus Suicide Attempt Add up to Murder Charges Against Ex-Husband

Suffolk County PD

Muhammet Karadag booking photo.

A Long Island man who was found unconscious in his car with to his dead ex-wife on Sunday was arrested and charged with murder today by Suffolk County police.

Muhammet Karadag, 50, an unemployed construction worker, was charged with murder in the second degree and was ordered held without bail after his arraignment Monday.

He is accused of stabbing his ex-wife, Culcin Karadag, 49, to death -- but the murder investigation began with a fire at the Lindenhurst home the Karadags still shared.

Firefighters responded to blaze at 675 North Erie Avenue at 4:14 a.m. on Sunday. When the fire was extinguished, detectives found signs of a struggle in the home and then put out an alert to look for the two residents and their missing 2001 Chevy Tahoe.

The SUV was later found 15 miles away, west of Oak Beach in Babylon by an officer on beach patrol, cops said. The Karadags were both inside, and the woman -- wrapped in a blanket, in the back seat -- was pronounced dead at the scene.

The man -- who apparently had tried to commit suicide with prescriptions pills -- was unconscious, police said. He was taken to Good Samaritan Hospital in West Islip and was listed in serious condition.

Lt. Gerard Pelkofsky, chief of the homicide squad, said a number of gasoline cans were found at the Karadag home, indicating the fire was intentionally set. He also said there was evidence of violence inside the home, but he declined to elaborate.

It is unclear what lead to the argument between the couple. The investigation is ongoing. Detectives are asking anyone who may have information about this incident to call the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

Karadag is due back in court on Friday.
 

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