After the badly-decomposed body of former New York City firefighter Salvatore Princiotta was discovered in his Arizona apartment, it was initially assumed that he had died from complications of lung problems that developed as a result of working at Ground Zero around the clock. His health problems prompted him to move to a drier climate.

Later news articles report that he was shot, and that his rare collection of gold coins, valued at $20,000, is missing. Further information describes his collection as Elvis memorabilia received on a cross-country bike ride to raise money “for the widows and children of slain firefighters.”

Most recently, a suspect in the murder was cornered in San Bernardino, CA. The suspect shot himself before police could arrest him. The suspect has now been identified as 56-year-old Jeffrey Lynn Bigham.

Salvatore Princiotta’s Flickr photostream includes collections on New York City, Super Bowl XL, and the 2004 Summer Olympics held in Athens, Greece.

Princiotta was a member of Engine Company 33, Ladder 9. The ladder truck responded after the collapse of the second tower, and was onsite when Building 7 collapsed. Ladder 9 was fortuitously photographed shortly after, still damaged and being cleaned by firefighters.

[cehwiedel also writes at cehwiedel.com]

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