Photo credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas
Newsday, March 22, 2011
By YAMICHE ALCINDOR
Josh Singh last saw his mother alive when he and his younger brother left for school on a winter day four years ago.
Geeta Singh was standing outside their home in Syosset, calling to him to wear a jacket.
Hours later, when Josh, then 13, and his brother, Ankur, 12, returned home, they came upon a gruesome scene. Both parents had been shot. Later, the kids would discover from police that the couple had died. It was Jan. 23, 2007.
“I kept thinking, why them?” Josh Singh said recently. “They were good people who did everything for their kids.”
The mystery of what happened to Jaspal, 46, and Geeta Singh, 38, has haunted not only the brothers who have since grown into young men. Nassau homicide detectives working the case for years say they have no witnesses, no suspects and no clear motive for the murders.
“I told both those kids I would do whatever I had to do to solve this,” said Nassau Det. William Brosnan, the cop who broke the news to the brothers that their parents had died.
Brosnan said he has interviewed dozens of neighbors, family members, friends and business associates and followed countless leads.
In the midst of investigating the case, there would be more tragedy, this time for the detectives. For two years, Brosnan’s partner, Det. James McGinn, led the probe, tracking down leads and investigating various theories.
But in 2009, McGinn suffered a brain aneurysm and died. “He died after we interviewed someone for this case,” said Brosnan, who was with McGinn at the time. “He died working on this case . . . It was very important to him . . . [He] wanted to solve this case.”
In the days following the murders, Josh and Ankur Singh had nightmares and cried often, unable to put behind them the memory of what they had seen that January day, the youngsters recall.
The brothers returned home from school around 3 p.m. to find the terrible scene: their father lay behind a closed front door with gunshot wounds to his head and torso; and their mother was in a pool of blood in an upstairs bedroom.
“I saw my mom — she was shot in the head,” Josh said. “The entire room was ransacked.”
Based on telephone calls to the Singh home, police have determined the couple was killed between 7 a.m. and noon.
Police believe the couple was targeted, Brosnan said, and that the Singhs knew their killers because there was no sign of forced entry into the home. Interviews have led officials to believe the motive might be financial, Brosnan said.
“We have exhausted a tremendous amount of leads,” said Brosnan, an 18-year veteran of the force.
Since their parents’ deaths, Josh and Ankur Singh have been living in Bethpage with their uncle, Joginder Singh, 41, and his wife and child. But just like the boys, Joginder Singh wonders about the future.
“We’ll feel very unsafe until it gets solved,” he said. “Every time I have a moment to spare, my mind goes to them.”
The Singh brothers, despite their terrible loss, also wrestle with the same adolescent concerns of others.
Josh Singh is 17 now, a high school senior helping his uncle run the convenience store his father and uncle once co-owned. He’s an honor student applying to college and hoping that he will get into Columbia University — a way to get a great education and stay close to home. “I have to make my mom and dad proud,” he said.
Every once in a while, the brothers lose hope the mystery will ever be solved.
“After four years, I don’t feel like we’re ever going to find out who did it,” Josh Singh said. “Knowing what happened would help us bring justice to our family and peace to our family.”