More than 2,600 people were killed in New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. But only one of those deaths remains unsolved 17 years later.
In fact, the murder of Polish immigrant Henryk Siwiak was the only other homicide reported throughout the five boroughs that day. The 46-year-old lived in Queens and was one month shy of being in the country for a year, according to ABC News. His wife and children still lived in Poland.
Ewa Siwiak, now 66, told ABC News that her husband didn’t have a television set so she tried to let him know about the terror attacks by phone.
"I don't think he understood the gravity," she said. "He told me he went to a Polish agency [in New York] to look for work and maybe there was work for him in some shop. I asked him not to go anywhere that evening. But he did."
Henryk Siwiak headed to his first day on the job at a Pathmark supermarket in Brooklyn. But, he got off at the wrong stop.
“Unfortunately for him, that block at that time was a bad block; heavy drug use, heavy gang involvement," New York Police Department Det. Mike Prate told ABC News. He said that Siwiak "was engaged by a group" and shot to death in the chest.
Mona Miller lived near the scene of the shooting. She told WNYC in 2011 she heard an argument followed by a gunshot.
“I heard a couple of men talking, arguing and I heard a shot,” she said. “I don’t know if I heard a shot or couple of shots but I didn’t come to the window because I don’t dare come to the window.”
After authorities arrived on the scene she peered out to see Siwiak’s body on the ground.
Police have never named any suspects.
Prate thinks that if Siwiak was killed on a different day, more resources would have been devoted to finding his killer, or killers.
"It's an absolute shame," Prate said. "I think that having it not been 9/11, we would have had a better chance with a more engaging presence."
[Photo: Associated Press]
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