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Man Found Strangled in Elmhurst Hotel Room, Officials Say

By  Julie  Shapiro and Jesse Lent | February 10, 2013 9:21am | Updated on February 10, 2013 7:12pm

QUEENS — A 54-year-old man was found strangled in an Elmhurst hotel room Saturday night, officials said.

Joseph Benzinger was discovered lying unconscious on the floor in a room at the Crown Motor Inn, 74-01 Queens Boulevard, about 11:40 p.m., the NYPD said.

Benzinger, a Middle Village resident, was pronounced dead at the scene, and the medical examiner's office later ruled that he had died by strangulation.

Police were investigating the homicide, but no one had been arrested as of Sunday afternoon.

Neighbors described Benzinger as a friendly man who had recently retired from the Department of Sanitation.

"He just helped my wife shovel the snow yesterday," said Rudy Borbor, 48, who has lived next-door to the victim for about a year. "When I first moved in...he came over and he said, 'Rudy, if there's anything I can do, let me know.'"

Borbor said Benzinger liked to go fishing with his father, who lived with him.

"It breaks my heart. It really does," Borbor said. "I feel for his father."