Former NYC Nightclub Owner Found Strangled to Death, Police Say

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The former owner of a Midtown Manhattan nightclub was found strangled to death in his New York City apartment, police said.

The body of Savyon Zabar, 54, was discovered Wednesday morning by a roommate inside an apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, police said, classifying the death a homicide on Friday.

Investigators said there was no forced entry into the apartment and nothing appeared to have been taken. Detectives were seen entering the apartment on Friday.

Zabar was the victim of another crime in April 2016, when two men robbed him as he entered his apartment, according to authorities. The men made off with Zabar’s vehicle and more than $3,000 cash.

Zabar, known by his friends as “Big Ben,” was an openly gay “icon in NYC nightlife,” according to a GoFundMe page set up in his memory.

The autopsy showed hemorrhaging consistent with strangulation, police said.

Editor’s note: The original version of this story incorrectly stated that Savyon Zabar was the son of an executive at Zabar’s, the gourmet grocery store on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. The general manager at Zabar’s told ABC News he was not aware of a connection with the grocery store family.

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