Police Search For Answers In Suspicious Death of 84 Year Old S. Buffalo Man

March 30, 2011 Updated Mar 30, 2011 at 6:26 PM EDT

By Jennifer Stanonis

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March 30, 2011 Updated Mar 30, 2011 at 6:26 PM EDT

SOUTH BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) -- A quiet home on Susan Lane in South Buffalo is now filled with homicide detectives as they investigate the death of an 84 year old man, who family members have identified as Donald Rossel.

It was in that very house, which the victim built and lived in for more than 40 years, where he was found dead in the kitchen Tuesday afternoon, reportedly beaten and stabbed. "It's horrible, I couldn't sleep last night at all... the police cars are still out front, it's just very disturbing," Tom Knezevic, the victim's friend and next door neighbor, said. "It was just very upsetting that we couldn't help or hear anything or intervene in any way."

"84 years old...something like this it's just scary," a neighbor said.

Those who knew Donald say he loved to dance, ride around in his convertible, and was a father of five children. "Just a very energetic guy, has more energy than most people I know my age," Knezevic said. "Always on the go, whether it was to the gym, health spa, dance contests."

Donald also attended Saint Martin of Tours Church for many decades. "It is very sad and startling especially under these circumstances and in this area," Parish Coordinator Mary Fitzgerald said. "But he will be remembered at prayers at all the masses."

Those close to him say he owned several properties and in the past has had problems with at least one tenant breaking into his home. The most recent incident happened in December. His good friend and neighbor helped catch the person. "Broke in through the garage and forced her way in and took some change and cigarettes," Knezevic said. "In the middle of the night the dog started going nuts and we went out there and caught the lady coming out of the garage."

Police aren't commenting on that incident or if this latest case was a burglary.

Detectives say they hope to learn more about what happened after an autopsy is completed, which was scheduled for Wednesday.

Loved ones of the victim tell Eyewitness News one of Donald's sons committed suicide two years ago.