NEW YORK -- A man police sources said was a capo in the Lucchese crime family was found dead in the trunk of a black Jaguar that had been parked on a Bronx street for about a week, police said Sunday.
Police about 5 p.m. Saturday opened the trunk of the sports car, which was parked in the Baychester section after residents on the block complained about a foul odor coming from the vehicle, said Sgt. Mary Wrensen, a police spokeswoman.
Police identified the man as Michael Salerno, 67, of the New York City suburb of Ardsley, said Officer Anthony Mazzola, another spokesman.
'He's a capo in the Lucchese family,' said a law enforcement source who investigates organized crime cases.
Detectives investigating the killing said they do not believe Salerno was a related to Anthony 'Fat Tony' Salerno, the former boss of the Genovese crime family who is serving a 100-year term for his conviction in the Mafia commission case in 1986.
'We are going on the assumption that he is not a relative of Fat Tony and that he may be connected with Lucchese family,' said another investigator familiar with the slaying who asked that his name not be used.
Police said Michael Salerno's body was clad in a tan checkered sports jacket, tan pants and a white shirt and was wearing 'extensive' gold jewelry -- chains, rings and bracelets -- leading detectives to discount robbery as a motive.
'But we're in the very early stages of our investigation,' one homicide investigator cautioned.
Both the reputed boss and underboss of the Lucchese family, Vittorio 'Vic' Amuso and Anthony 'Gaspipe' Casso, were indicted in a $142 million bid-rigging case unsealed May 30 in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn and were fugitives.
The killing of a capo, or caporegime, a captain in the organized crime hierarchy, would normally require the sanction of a boss, but it was unclear whether the family was in disarray as a result of the recent indictments, which targeted top members of four of New York's five Mafia families.
Ellen Borakove, spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office, said Salerno died of a gunshot wound to the chest that perforated his heart and a stab wound to his neck that slit his windpipe.
While police believe Salerno had been in the trunk for about a week, no missing persons report had been filed either with New York City or Ardsley police.
Salerno was found stuffed in the the trunk of a 1988 black Jaguar registered to his daughter, Julia Yodice. The car had been parked on the street for about a week, Wrensen said.
Police in Ardsley, N.Y., said they had no record of a Michael Salerno living on Delwood Lane, which they described as a pleasant street of mid-sized homes with sloping lawns.
Ardsley police Sgt. Leonard Balducci said New York City police detectives went to Yodice's home late Saturday to notify her of her father's death.