A former police officer from Passaic County was found dead Thursday morning in a room at the Ramada Inn in Totowa, authorities said.
Gary Potenzone Jr., 41, was found by hotel workers who entered his room about 11:40 a.m., according to Passaic County Prosecutor Camelia M. Valdes and Totowa Police Chief Carmen Veneziano.
Totowa police were called to the hotel and were able to identify Potenzone’s body, Valdes and Veneziano said in a joint statement.
“The investigation revealed that hotel staff went to the room to conduct a welfare check when Mr. Potenzone failed to check out as scheduled,” the statement said.
“There were no signs of physical force or violence at the scene, and the police do not believe there is any imminent danger to anyone in community,” Valdes said.
Paul Rubestello, who created a GoFundMe for the family, said Potenzone had been married for 24 years and was a father of three.
“He lost his life today leaving his family unexpectedly. His legacy will live on through his children, mother, three sisters and his nieces and nephews,” Rubestello wrote on the site.
Potenzone became a police officer in 2009 but it was unclear when he left the department and why. Totowa’s police chief was not immediately available to comment Friday morning.
Valdes said a medical examiner was called to the scene and that the cause and manner of death are pending an autopsy, which will be conducted next week.
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information is asked to call the Passaic County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-877-370-PCPO or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Totowa police can be reached at 973-790-3700.
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