Saturday, February 11, 2006

Suspect in Mafia Associate's Slaying Discovered Dead of Apparent Suicide

A former Newark police officer, described as the "principal suspect" in a a mafia associate's 2002 murder, has apparently committed suicide, according to authorities.

Nicholas Baglione Jr., 48, was found dead Tuesday evening in a Hazlet parking lot, slumped over in the driver's seat of a limousine he drove for a living, according to local police. Baglione, who was reported missing Friday, died from a single gunshot would to the head. Authorities have ruled the death a suicide, pending results from an autopsy.

State authorities targeted Baglione during an investigation into the killing of Dennis Fiore, 50, an alleged small-time bookie who was fatally shot outside an Italian-American social club in Newark's North Ward in 2002.

John Hagerty, spokesman for the state Division of Criminal Justice, told The Star-Ledger of Newark for Thursday newspapers that Baglione was a "principal suspect."

Baglione's suicide ended the possibility of the investigation going to a grand jury, Hagerty said.

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