Tip sparks search for remains

CITY OF NEWBURGH — In the basement of a house where a killer's relatives once lived, police dug into the floor hoping to solve a 10-year-old mystery.

Town of Newburgh police were looking for Dominick Pendino's remains on Tuesday when they arrived at 264 Washington St. Larry Weygant and Greg Chrysler killed Pendino in 1999, leaving blood on his driveway but no answers as to the location of his body. The two men were convicted of second-degree murder in 2000 and exhausted their state and federal appeals. Weygant is serving 27 years to life in prison, while Chrysler is serving 25 to life.

They have never said what they did with Pendino's body, leaving relatives and police to search for the answer on their own.

Town detectives thought they had a good lead on Tuesday. Armed with a search warrant, they had to pull plywood off the windows and doors to get inside the abandoned two-story building on Washington Street. George Weygant, an elder relative of Larry Weygant, had lived there before he died in 2002. The house has since become a haven for drug addicts who climb over mounds of trash in the backyard and enter through the back windows.

In the basement, detectives and officers worked under floodlights with shovels, pry bars and rakes. They paused only to allow periodic searches by state police cadaver dogs. Four hours later, the cops emerged dusty and tired with no sign of Pendino.

Over the years, police have followed a number of tips and conducted searches throughout the region. The familial link to Larry Weygant paired with the unpublicized details known by the source lent the most recent tip an air of credibility, but it ended with the same result as the others.

"It's not the first search, and it won't be the last," Lt. Michael Clancy said.

Detective Bill Leonick has worked the case for 10 years. He pulled off his blue rubber gloves and helped load the tools Tuesday afternoon.

"We'll find him," he said.

They sealed up the house, and Leonick headed off to tell Pendino's family.

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