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Utica Police look into Kennedy Plaza homicide; believe drug-related

By By KRISTEN COPELAND

UTICA - Utica Police need your help solving the second homicide of year, after Richard Savage III was found dead late Sunday night in his Downtown Utica Apartment.

Details are still unfolding at this time, but police believe the death could be the result of a "narcotics transaction."

Autopsy reports show that Savage III was killed by a gunshot wound to the chest. At this point, police will not say when he was shot.

Officers were led to the apartment around 10:30 p.m. Sunday night night by people who hadn't seen or heard from the 29-year-old in awhile.

Those who live on the sixth floor tell NEWSChannel 2 that there was a strong odor in the building.

Police say there were no signs of forced entry, and that there was evidence of narcotic activity.

Public Safety Commissioner Daniel LaBella says criminal investigators worked on the case Sunday night and into Monday morning.

"Every hour that goes by, more leads come in," Commissioner LaBella said. "So we're taking it step by step. The problem with these types of crimes is that if it is drug related than it is a lot harder crime to investigate because the witnesses are not as forthcoming."

This was not Savage's first gunshot. Back in 2001, he survived a bullet to the head on Lansing Street. That case was never closed, according to LaBella.

If you have any information regarding the Kennedy Plaza homicide, you are asked to contact the Utica Police Department at 223-3510.

All calls will be kept confidential.

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