HUNT PRESSED FOR SLAIN WIFE'S HUSBAND - The Buffalo News

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HUNT PRESSED FOR SLAIN WIFE'S HUSBAND

Buffalo homicide detectives stopped short Monday of naming Salvatore Garrasi III as a suspect in Sunday's fatal stabbing of his wife.

Right now, they say they only want to talk to him.

"We're still looking for an opportunity to speak with Mr. Garrasi," said Capt. Joseph Riga, Homicide Bureau chief.

Garrasi, 60, hasn't been seen since minutes before his wife, Jeanette Garrasi, 57, was found stabbed to death Sunday afternoon in her home at 179 Auburn Ave.

An autopsy Monday revealed that she had been beaten and stabbed; a stab wound to the chest caused her death.

Police, who say robbery apparently was not a motive in the killing, have been tight-lipped thus far in their investigation.

Police officials refused to comment on whether the weapon used in the killing had been recovered. They also would not characterize Garrasi's emotional nature or discuss where they were concentrating their efforts in attempting to contact him.

Investigators have been going to Garrasi's known "haunts" to talk with people he has been known to hang around with, said Lt. Duane T. Rizzo, a Police Department spokesman. "He's only wanted for questioning, though. We need to make that explicitly clear," Rizzo said.

"We're using the same standard investigative techniques that we've used in most homicides," Riga added.

What police do know is that Ms. Garrasi was alive at about 2 p.m., just a few minutes before her husband was seen leaving the residence. Her body was discovered by a neighbor a short time later in a hallway.

Garrasi, who recently moved to another Auburn Avenue address, is no stranger to police -- or the Homicide Bureau.

During a standoff with police in June 1983, Garrasi fatally shot the couple's 10-year-old son, Salvatore IV, before opening fire on officers with a .22-caliber revolver. None of the officers was hit. Garrasi survived return fire from police that struck him in the abdomen and arm.

He later pleaded insanity in his son's death and was committed for psychiatric treatment. Diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, Garrasi had been receiving outpatient care in recent years.

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