MANHATTAN — The prime suspect in the 2004 murder of Juilliard student Sarah Fox told cops her killer is a former music instructor at the prestigious performing arts school, DNAinfo.com New York has learned.
Dimitry (Victor) Sheinman handed the name to police in a sealed envelope, telling them it had come to him in a psychic vision.
But the clairvoyantly obtained clue had already been dismissed by police who ruled out the teacher as a suspect eight years ago, sources said.
Cops initially checked him out when he broke down during the 21-year-old victim's funeral. Detectives questioned him and ruled him out as merely someone moved by the death.
Sheinman, 47, provided cops at the 34th Precinct on Tuesday with a few pages of information about the slaying that he claims came to him and several other clairvoyants. Among them was the Juilliard instructor's name.
DNAinfo.com New York is withholding his identity as the NYPD strongly insisted he is not a suspect.
"Nothing’s detailed beyond the name that came to him," one source said. "Zero details of the crime."
Law enforcement officials are unable to question Sheinman further because he still has an attorney of record dating back to when he was originally questioned in the case eight years ago. Sheinman had no lawyer present Tuesday when he handed over his letter to cops.
"People like me are not murderers," he said.
Detectives accepted the letter Tuesday with a "thank you," according to Sheinman’s wife, Jane Sheinman.
Law enforcement officials told DNAinfo.com New York that Tuesday’s presentation of the letter amounted to a "circus," and they were frustrated that Sheinman held an event outside the station house.
A staging area was set up across the street from the precinct’s front steps in order to distance the event as much as possible, sources said.
Sheinman was inside the precinct for approximately three to five minutes handing off the letter and barely uttered a word to police inside, according to his wife.
He said he hoped police would take his information seriously.
"I hope they follow up," he said.
Sheinman claimed he was morally bound to return to New York, years after moving to South Africa, to help police solve the cold case.
He's also here promoting a book about his encounter with police and his evolving spiritual life since his brush with the law after Fox’s naked body was found May 25, 2004 in Inwood Hill Park.
At Tuesday's press conference, Sheinman said Sarah Fox communicated with him and wanted him to clear his name, saying "go get 'em, let’s get the killer, let’s do it."
Sources said beside the instructor’s name there was little else in Sheinman's information to pursue. The other clairvoyants Sheinman referred to in the letter are all in South Africa.
His information was described as generic and he only says he asked the other clairvoyants "to concentrate and they came up with variations of the same name." He didn't say when or where he met the other psychics.
Sheinman’s wife, Jane, said she and her husband are now concentrating on finding a publisher for their 250,000-word tome. The couple moved five years ago to Jane Sheinman's native South Africa after her husband spent a couple of months on Rikers Island for punching a fellow dog walker in Inwood Hill Park.
She said she was perplexed at the media reports that questioned their return to New York.
"You are talking about someone who is innocent and wants to come forward," she said. "Someone comes back and puts things forward and things can backfire on you."
Despite the latest twist in the case, law enforcement officials continue to view Sheinman as their No. 1 suspect, as former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau described him eight years ago.