Authorities are investigating the death of a 46-year-old man who apparently doused himself in accelerant and lit himself ablaze early Tuesday as a suicide, while officials search for the man's 77-year-old mother, who is now missing.
Police first responded to a call about the man on fire in the back of a single-family home on Brooklyn's Bedford Avenue around 5:30 a.m. He was pronounced dead at the scene once firefighters extinguished the flames. Video from the scene shows what appears to be two containers of oil right next to the body.
Cops later said the man's mother was missing. Patricia Ventre lives at the same address with her son, they added. Neighbors say they haven't seen Ventre in months. Christmas decorations are still on display outside her home. They say it's a sign that something was wrong.
Police also said there was no evidence of her in the home when they checked Tuesday. It's unclear what police believe happened to Ventre, but the efforts to find her have become more urgent.
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There is no history of any domestic incidents involving mother and son, officials said.
If you or someone you know is in a crisis, including at risk of suicide or self-harm, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).