Police release sketch in arson, murder mystery

STAMFORD - Police released a sketch Thursday of a suspect in the 6-month-old murder mystery of Marco Paoletta, who authorities found with a gunshot wound to his head and later found his burning car in Norwalk.

Paoletta, 52, was found on Vine Road in Stamford after he was last seen playing racket ball at the Jewish Community Center. Police now are looking for a Hispanic male seen with Paoletta at the center on Jan. 3.

Investigators believe the man is between 19 and 25 years old, has an olive complexion, black hair, sideburns and knows something about the murder.

Authorities say they hope the new sketch leads them to a killer.

"It represents the suspect in a very true manor," says Stamford Police Capt. Richard Conklin.

Police want to hear from anyone that has seen the man in the sketch, know his name or anything else about him.

"We found it odd that this person was with our victim moments before his death," says Conklin.

Police question why the man hasn't come forward about having contact with Paoletta on the night of the murder, but hope another appeal to the community will produce some results.

While investigators say Paoletta was gay, they say they need more information before classifying his death as a hate crime.

Meanwhile, family members are hoping the picture leads police to the killer.

?This gives closure to the family that the person who [is] responsible for this is facing justice and that's what they want and they're waiting for that day and they know it will be coming,? says Vito Colucci, a relative of the victim.

Police have homicide, arson mystery on their hands

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