Suicide suspected in death of mob figure

May 2, 2010 at 4:26 PM

NEW YORK, May 2 (UPI) -- New York Gambino crime family soldier Anthony Anastasio fatally shot himself days before he was to begin a federal prison term, officials said.

The 81-year-old nephew of Murder Inc. boss Albert Anastasia, due to begin a 30-month term for extortion, racketeering and arson May 10, fired two bullets into his heart Friday, the New York Daily News reported.

"It was a sudden death and his family is in mourning," Anastasio's lawyer, Paul Bergman, said, declining further comment.

Police say they found a suicide note allegedly written by Anastasio, a .22-caliber handgun and two shell casings.

Investigators believe Anastasio committed suicide rather than face jail, the newspaper said.

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