New York man who tried to hide murder victim’s corpse in Superstorm Sandy debris facing 25 to life

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Aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in Far Rockaway, New York.

QUEENS, NY – Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced today that Thyron Aycock, 48, has been convicted at trial of murder for the brutal beating death of a man in 2012. The victim’s remains were discovered by park employees clearing garbage and debris from the damaged sand dunes of the beach in Far Rockaway following Hurricane Sandy.

District Attorney Katz said, “In the days following the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, park workers saw an elbow sticking out of the sand. The victim in this case had been stuffed in a garbage bag by his killer. Despite the 10 years that have passed since this brutal killing, our Office pursued this case – investigating and prosecuting – and today the jury found the defendant guilty of murder. He now faces a lengthy term of incarceration when the presiding judge sentences him in the coming weeks.”

Aycock, of Far Rockaway, Queens, was found guilty of murder in the second degree today. A jury deliberated for two hours before rendering a verdict. Queens Supreme Court Justice Cassandra Mullen, who presided at trial, set sentencing for March 8, 2022, at which time Aycock faces up to 25 years-to-life in prison.

According to trial records, the defendant lived with his girlfriend and her ex-boyfriend – Shawn Rucker – in Far Rockaway, Queens. Sometime between November 5th and November 7th of 2012, Aycock demanded Mr. Rucker leave the home. That’s when the two men became embroiled in an argument that turned physical. Aycock struck the 32-year-old victim at least eight times in the head with a hammer. Mr. Rucker died as a result blunt force trauma and chest compressions.

The DA said, according to trial testimony, the defendant then made attempts to dismember the body of the deceased. There were lacerations to Mr. Rucker’s wrist and his left thigh had a gapping cut to the bone. His body was bound with a very distinctive patterned cloth and he was stuffed in a garbage bag and buried on the beach.

November 15, 2012, according to trial testimony, workers with the City Department of Parks were clearing garbage from the vicinity of Beach 13th Street in Far Rockaway, Queens, when they saw an elbow sticking out of the sand and discovered the remains of Mr. Rucker.

Trial testimony revealed that during the investigation, police executed a Court-authorized search of the defendant’s home where they recovered a knife with the victim’s blood on it. A saw was also found and was forensically-matched to the deep thigh wound of the victim. A bedsheet with the same distinctive pattern as the cloth used to bind the victim was also in the home.

The defendant, however, was not apprehended until roughly seven years later when he admitted to a friend that he had killed someone and gave very detailed information about the homicide. That friend contacted the police.

Senior Assistant District Attorney Jonathan Selkowe, of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, prosecuted the case, with the assistance of Assistant District Attorney Mia Piccininni, of Felony Trial Bureau I, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorneys Peter McCormack III and John Kosinski, Senior Deputy Bureau Chiefs of Homicide, Karen Ross, Deputy Bureau Chief of Homicide and under the overall supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney of Major Crimes Daniel Saunders.