Leg washes up on James Dolan's private beach

March 28, 2007, 1:51 PM EDT
A black garbage bag containing a human leg was found Wednesday morning washed ashore on an ultra-exclusive private beach in Cove Neck belonging to Madison Square Garden chairman James Dolan, Nassau County Police said.

Detectives from the Nassau County Police Homicide Squad said the trash bag was found by an unidentified person, believed to be a caretaker, at about 8:50 a.m. Wednesday.

"Upon further examination, it turned out to be human body parts," Det. Sgt. Richard Laursen said. Laursen later said the bag contained the lower part of a human leg, but declined to provide any further details.

It was unclear if Dolan was at home at the time.

Police also would not say if the leg was that of a man or a woman and declined to identify the race of the remains.

The beach is located at the end of a private drive off several addresses on Cove Neck Road listed to the Dolan family, including James Dolan and his father, Cablevision president Charles F. Dolan. The beach borders Oyster Bay Harbor.

Police said Wednesday it is unclear when the bag containing the leg washed up on the beach -- and if it washed ashore after drifting through the Long Island Sound.

Initial reports Wednesday indicated that as part of their investigation police were planning to contact police in Connecticut where, reportedly, a human torso had been found recently in the Long Island Sound. Police confirmed they planned to check with Connecticut law enforcement officials, but had yet to do so.

The ultra-exclusive section of Nassau County is a hilly, leafy neighborhood dotted with multi-million-dollar mansions situated on multi-acre plots on a thumblike block of land north of Oyster Bay Cove. Into Wednesday afternoon police still had the area cordoned off as Nassau Homicide Squad detectives, Old Brookville Police, members of the Nassau County Medical Examiner's Office and the Nassau Police Department Marine Bureau combed the private beach searching for clues.

A Nassau Police Air Bureau helicopter crew was conducting an aerial search of the shoreline. A Nassau Police Marine Bureau patrol boat crew was busily canvasing boaters.

A police underwater search and rescue team was conducting a "grid search" along the shoreline in Oyster Bay Harbor, police said, while other officers were scanning the waters with binoculars.