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Wednesday, March 7, 2012

NEW YORK CITY: Police Seek Prostitute In Strangulation Murder Of Chelsea Gay Man

On Friday night Manhattan resident John Laubach, 57, was found bound, gagged, and apparently strangled to death in his Chelsea apartment. Police are seeking a young man that Laubach may have hired that evening on
Police late Monday released a set of surveillance photos of a man allegedly caught trying to using John Laubach's bank card after he died, police said. The photos are from an ATM machine camera. Earlier Monday, police questioned a 24-year-old man but released him after interviewing him. Law-enforcement sources told NBC New York that they were led to the man after using facial recognition software on a still photo taken from a surveillance camera. The search turned up a possible hit -- an old mugshot for the 24-year-old man. John Laubach was found unconscious in his fourth-floor apartment at 212 West 22nd St. in Chelsea just before 8 p.m. Friday, when a friend went to check on him, according to police. His arms were found bound to the bedpost by an electrical cord, his mouth gagged with tape and his face covered with a towel, authorities said.
Friends say Laubach was active in a local gay-affirming church and had been studying to become a pastor. Neighbors report that Laubach lived quietly and occasionally had young male visitors. Below are the ATM surveillance shots released by the NYPD.RELATED: Late last year Craigslist prostitute John Katehis was found guilty for the gruesome 2009 stabbing murder of CBS newsman George Weber. Several other high-profile murders related to internet prostitution have rocked New York City in recent years.

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