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Over A Decade Later, Chesed Shel Emes Bringing to Kevura Missing Williamsburg Man

Feb 18, 2013 -Sandy Eller - VIN News
Categoties:Other CSE Operations

VIN reports: Brooklyn, NY - After a disappearance of almost thirteenyears, a well known fixture in Williamsburg has finally been located in a graveat the largest potter’s field in the United States, thanks to advancedfingerprinting technology.

Yisroel Meir Beck was forty two years old and a Brooklynresident at the time of his disappearance. The mentally disabled man, who was known to frequent batei medrashim andweddings in Williamsburg,  was last seenon the morning of February 25th, 2000 on Bedford Avenue.  While the Beck family has been searchingextensively for the missing man since his disappearance, his whereabouts becameknown only recently.

“I got a phone call from Sergeant Hill at the NYPD onJanuary 14th who told me that new fingerprints from many years ago had justbeen entered into his database, identifying my brother as an unknown missingperson who had been fingerprinted at the morgue in an attempt to establish hisidentity,” Rivka Fulda, Beck’s sister, told VIN News.  “I was told they were using new technologythat scans fingerprints from all different places and that fingerprints of mybrother’s that were on file matched those newly entered fingerprints that hadbeen taken at the medical examiner’s office many years ago.”

Mrs. Fulda was told by detectives that the medicalexaminer’s report stated that an unknown person walked into a New York Cityhospital and died in the emergency room on February 29, 2000, four days afterher brother was last seen.

“He had no identification of any sort on him,” explainedMrs. Fulda.  “His body was sent to themedical examiner’s office and when no one claimed the body he was sent to HartIsland.”

All unidentified bodies in New York City are sent to HartIsland, the largest tax funded cemetery in the world, for interment after beingphotographed at the morgue.  Located eastof City Island in the Long Island Sound, burials at the 101 acre cemetery areconducted by Rikers Island inmates.

“To me, finding a fingerprint match was an indication thatthis could be it, but I needed more,” said Mrs. Fulda.  “I got a medical report a week or so ago thatwas very pareve.  It gave height, weightand pathology and also mentioned that the body in question had beencircumcised.  That was important butstill not conclusive.”

Final confirmation finally came in the form of a morguephotograph, which Mrs. Fulda received in the mail last Thursday.

“I open this envelope and there is the picture of the personwho had passed away.  It was definitelyhim,” reported Mrs. Fulda.  “The nextmorning, I contacted some of the people he had been in touch with inWilliamsburg, because I had no idea how to go about taking care of things.  Chesed Shel Emes called me immediately.  They are an amazing institution.”

Chesed Shel Emes has confirmed that they are in the processof initiating the process of disinterment in order to give Beck a properkevura, a procedure which will take extra time given the extended holidayweekend.

“We need to get a death certificate and the proper permits,”said Mendy Rosenberg of Chesed Shel Emes. “We have already been in touch with the Corrections Department at RikersIsland which takes care of the potter’s field. As soon as we have the proper paperwork in place we can go ahead andgive him the burial he deserves.”

“I am very pleased that we at Chessed Shel Emes were able tobe a part of this great deed and help bring closure for the family and give hima proper jewish burial,” added community activist and Chesed Shel Emes memberZvi Gluck.

Mrs. Fulda told VIN News that while she continued to hopethat her brother would be found safely, after such a prolonged absence with nocontact she was concerned that something had happened to him.

“We called the police, checked with hospital, posted signseverywhere, both in Brooklyn and in the Catskills,” recalled Mrs. Fulda.  “We ran an extensive search and my fathercontacted mekubalim in Eretz Yisroel. Although it did not look hopeful, we never gave up and I was alwaysmispallel that we should be able to bring him to kever yisroel.”

Mrs. Fulda hopes to bury her brother, Yisroel Meir ben R’Yitzchok Eizik somewhere near Williamsburg.

“I would like for him to be in a place where he isaccessible to the people he was close with. He was very well known in Williamsburg and I would like for people to beable to go there and daven for him,” said Mrs. Fulda.