Queens, NY – New York Police Department (NYPD) Detective Paul Federico committed suicide at his mother’s home on Monday, according to police.
The 53-year-old detective’s body was found hanging inside the Middle Village home at approximately 12:25 p.m., the New York Post reported.
“His wife was in front screaming,” a neighbor told the paper. “She was saying, ‘Why did my husband do this?’”
Det. Federico was pronounced dead at the scene.
He did not leave a note, according to the New York Post.
In the aftermath of the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on Sep. 11, 2001, Det. Federico searched for human remains amid the rubble taken to the Fresh Kills site on Staten Island.
He was later diagnosed with 9/11-related cancer, and lost a kidney as he battled the disease, the New York Daily News reported.
Det. Federico was a staunch defender of 9/11 first responders, and helped to secure benefits for an NYPD auxiliary officer who developed skin cancer after serving at Ground Zero.
The detective managed to dig up a news interview clip that showed Officer Michael Dorian being interviewed at Ground Zero, thereby proving the ill officer had been there and ensuring he would be eligible for benefits, WNBC reported.
Officer Dorian was heartbroken and sobbing when the news outlet contacted him in the wake of Det. Federico’s death.
“[Det. Federico] was very dedicated to the job and to the department and he’ll be sorely missed,” Detectives’ Endowment Association President Paul DiGiacomo said, according to New York Post.
Det. Federico, a 29-year veteran-of-the-force, was most recently assigned to NYPD Police Commissioner Dermot Shea’s liaison unit.
Sources told the New York Post that Det. Federico sought out counseling services through the department, and that he was recently required to relinquish his gun and badge due to personal problems.
It is unclear whether his counseling had anything to do with his modified duty.
In addition to his wife, Det. Federico also leaves behind two adult children, according to the New York Post.
His brother serves as a Rockville Centre Police Department officer.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of New York Police Department Detective Paul Federico, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.