A Long Island man is facing a murder charge after police called to his home say they found an apparent smoking gun: a corpse burning in his backyard.
20-year-old Peter Pendzinski was arrested Saturday on suspicion of second-degree murder for allegedly killing a man and setting fire to his body.
Officers interrupted the clandestine cremation after responding around 2:30 a.m. Saturday to a 911 call from a neighbor reporting a fire at a property on Mastic Boulevard in the hamlet of Shirley, according to a press release from the Suffolk County Police Department.
After the blaze was put out, the remains were taken to the Suffolk County Medical Examiner for an autopsy to establish the victim’s identity and cause of death.
Pendzinski was transported to a local hospital to receive treatment for unspecified non-life-threatening injuries sustained during the fire.
Charging documents allege that he fired “several shots from a handgun,” killing the victim sometime between 11:30 p.m. on Christmas Day and 2:33 a.m. on Saturday, Newsday reported.
Pendzinski lives at the residence on Mastic Boulevard, which is owned by his father, police told the newspaper.
He will be arraigned at First District Court in Central Islip at a later date.
A motive for the killing has not yet been disclosed.