Reward for Unsolved Murder of SCPD Narcotics Detective Increased to $30K

Detective Dennis Wustenhoff was killed by an explosive device in his unmarked police car.

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Photo: SCPD.

On February 15, 1990, Suffolk County Police Detective Dennis Wustenhoff left his home in Patchogue and got into his undercover police car. That morning, at around 11:50 am, his vehicle exploded when a bomb went off as soon as he turned the ignition. Wustenhoff was airlifted to Stony Brook University Hospital but his injuries were too severe and he died three hours later.


To this day, Wustenhoff’s killers have not been found.


On the anniversary of his death this year, the Suffolk County Police Department said it has increased a reward for the information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible for the death of Detective Wustenhoff in 1990. The reward is now at $30,000.


Detective 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 SCPD 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,” SCPD Commissioner Geraldine Hart said. “The department continues to utilize every available resource, including working with the FBI, to solve this case.”


Suffolk County Crime Stoppers Vice President Pat Fazio stressed the importance of this unsolved murder.


“We are hopeful the increase in reward money will prompt someone to come forward with information,” he said.


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.