|By Julie Brown, The Miami
HeraldMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Aug. 14, 2009--RYE BROOK, N.Y. -- Facing one of the biggest cases in its history, the village of Rye Brook, N.Y.'s police department has launched a website to help it solve the slaying of hotel heir Ben Novack Jr.
The website, www.bennovackjr.com, lists basic information about the crime and where tipsters can call with any information. In a previously undisclosed detail, it mentions that a gold bracelet worn by Novack -- with the name B-E-N spelled out in diamonds -- may have been taken during the murder. The bracelet is shown on the website.
Chief Gregory Austin said his department has three detectives and one uniformed officer working the case full-time.
"This is our biggest case," said Austin, whose 3.5-square-mile village is patrolled by 28 officers.
The village, incorporated in 1982, has had only two other murders in its history, one of which remains unsolved.
The village's detectives, however, are being assisted by investigators from the Westchester County district attorney's office, county police and the Westchester County Department of Public Safety.
He said the high-profile nature of the victim -- the son of Ben Novack Sr., founder of the opulent Fontainebleau hotel -- has no impact on the way the probe is being conducted.
"All the normal procedures we would use in any crime are being used," Austin said. "An investigation is an investigation."
He declined to discuss the case, other than to say it is moving forward. Police have received some tips since the website went up on Wednesday, but Austin would not say how many or whether they were useful.
Novack, 53, was found bludgeoned to death July 12 in his hotel room at the Rye Town Hilton, where he had been orchestrating a convention for a major client of his company, Convention Concepts Unlimited of Fort Lauderdale.
His body remains in the Westchester County medical examiner's morgue as family members wrangle over his estate, estimated to be in the millions. His wife, Narcy Novack, 52, found his body the morning he was killed. She is among the people "of interest" in the case. But her lawyer, Howard Tanner of New York, has said she had nothing to do with Novack's murder and nothing to gain from his death. "I'm confident it will be solved," he said of the case.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Rye Brooke police at 914-937-0090 or 800-898-8477 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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