Suspect in Sarah Fox Murder Returns to City, Says He Wants to Help Cops
MANHATTAN − The prime suspect in one of the city’s most sensational unsolved murders — the brutal killing of student Sarah Fox — has returned to New York offering to provide detectives with new "psychic" details to help solve the case.
Fox, a 21-year-old Juilliard School of Music student, disappeared May 19, 2004, while running in Inwood Hill Park. She was found a week later in a heavily wooded part of the park, naked and with tulip petals scattered around her.
"Right now I have clairvoyant information and good reason to believe it is valuable to the New York City Police Department," Dimitry Sheinman told DNAinfo New York Wednesday. He was in town to promote a book he wrote about the case and his life at a book expo at the Jacob Javits Convention Center.
Sheinman became the target of investigators eight years ago when he provided them with information only the killer could know, including that Fox sustained a severe blow to her chest that busted a rib, and that she was menstruating.
At the time, Sheinman lived a block from the park where he regularly walked his Ridgeback dog, Barundi.
But he and his artist wife, Jane, moved to South Africa following his tumultuous brush with the law.
Despite being identified as the "No. 1 suspect" by Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau, Sheinman was never charged with Fox’s killing. In 2007, he was convicted of punching another dog walker and spent a couple of months on Rikers Island.
Sheinman, 47, said he was coming forward again to "do what is right" and is eager to talk to investigators to share his new leads for them to find Fox’s killer. He declined to provide those details to DNAinfo.com New York, saying he wanted to give them only to the police.
Since he left the country, he said he has written a 250,000-word book titled "Is He Friendly?" a reference to a common question he was asked about his dog in the park.
"Essentially, it is about New York characters and the police department, and being a deer caught in the headlights," Sheinman said.
In his book, he says he relives his experience in the interrogation room of the 34th Precinct where detectives questioned him about the Fox murder.
Sheinman described "seeing" how the killer must have hid in the shrubs and "sprang up from the bushes," grabbed Fox and "hit her in the ribs to quickly silence her."
He wrote that she was choked, and how he then re-enacted that assault for the cops. He added that her clothes were neatly stacked near her body with a used tampon on them — something only her family and cops knew.
Fox’s body was so decomposed that it was impossible to find any DNA from the killer on her. There was a stick found positioned between her legs and she appeared to be lying in a posed position.
Sheinman says he does not bear any grudge against the NYPD.
"At first, I was incensed at what happened to me, then I realized it was not personal," he said.
Sheinman also said he has become more spiritual and started a new religion called "The Power," which he said exalts thinking on your own. He also has a website called "The Sheinman Source."
Though he intends to be at the Javits Center for the Book Expo America, his work is not a part of the show.
Law enforcement sources continue to describe Sheinman as their prime suspect in the murder.
Fox’s family could not immediately be reached.