Police increase reward for info related to detective's death

Total reward up to $50k, officials say


Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart and Suffolk County Crime Stoppers have announced an increase to $30,000 in reward money for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible for the death of Detective Dennis Wustenhoff in 1990.  

The combined reward from SCPD, Suffolk County Police Benevolent Association, Suffolk County Superior Officers Association and a private donor now totals $50,000. 

“Our family is extremely grateful for the large increase in reward money. We feel it will be extremely motivating in obtaining information needed to make an arrest,” his daughter Melissa Scelsi said. “We are thankful for the help from the police unions and law enforcement agencies assisting in the push of this investigation.”

Detective Wustenhoff died shortly after a bomb exploded as he attempted to start his unmarked police vehicle that was parked in front of his Patchogue home on February 15, 1990.

Wustenhoff, who was assigned to the Narcotics Section at the time of his death, was survived by his wife, Fran, two daughters, Melissa and Jennifer, and a son, Kevin, who joined the department in 2005.

“We believe someone out there has information that could help solve this case and I would like to thank Suffolk County Crime Stoppers for their assistance to help bring the person or people responsible to justice,” Suffolk County Police Commissioner Geraldine Hart said. “The department continues to utilize every available resource, including working with the FBI, to solve this case.” 

Anyone with information can contact Suffolk County Crime Stoppers to submit an anonymous tip by calling 1-800-220-TIPS, utilizing the P3 Tips mobile app, or online at All calls, text messages and emails will be kept confidential.