Tonawanda News — KENMORE — Police said Tuesday that the killing of Jim Cottone in his Landers Road home was "not a random act," and wasn't the result of a burglary or break-in.
But village Police Chief Peter Breitnauer wouldn't say much more, only commenting that "it is a possibility" that the suspect was an acquaintance of Cottone, who owns Malone's Bar and Grill on Delaware Avenue in Kenmore.
An employee of the Delaware Avenue bar found Cottone, 62, dead in his home Sunday morning after he didn't show up at a work meeting. In a press release issued Sunday, police said he died from "blunt force injuries." On Tuesday afternoon, crime scene tape remained posted around the home and yard, located at 21 Landers Ave., where police believe the homicide took place, and the bar remained closed.
An autopsy has also been completed as part of the investigation, but both the Erie County Medical Examiner's Office and Breitnauer would not comment on the results.
No arrests have been made in the case.
Employees at the bar expressed shock and sadness following the crime, but would not comment on the incident. Another friend, Joe Carriero, said he talked to Cottone daily and was extremely startled by the homicide.
"He was just a happy guy," Carriero, who owns Marco's Italian Deli located next to Malone's, said. "He was always upbeat."
When looking back over the recent weeks and months leading to his friend's death, Carriero said one recent event — a burglary at the bar in March — stands out.
"Jim told me all about the theft ... he suspected it was an ex-employee. I know it really upset him,," Carriero said. "They had a key and went in, and emptied out the register on him. He was going to confront the person about it, and I couldn't tell you if he ever did."