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How Did Brooklyn Cafe Owner End Up Dead in South Whitehall?

Friends of missing Brooklyn man searched as Lehigh County officials worked to identify body

Authorities have identified a  and in South Whitehall Township on Nov. 1 but the mystery around his disappearance and death continues.

Investigators are trying to find out what happened between Halloween night when Josh Rubin was last seen leaving his Brooklyn apartment and the next day when his smoldering body was found in a rural part of Lehigh County.

The homicide victim owned a Brooklyn café called Whisk in the Ditmas Park neighborhood.

Rubin, 30, was identified through DNA testing.

After his Oct. 31 disappearance, searchers went to Brooklyn hospitals fearing Rubin, a diabetic, was without his medication. They plastered fliers around the neighborhood and started a “Find Josh Rubin” Facebook page, according to The Brooklyn Paper.

Police said Rubin may have suffered from mental illness.

Here's a timeline of developments in the case based on multiple stories published by The Brooklyn Paper after Rubin vanished:

Nov. 4: Friends say Rubin was under financial pressure and suffering from mental anguish. His business had only been open for two months but he was reportedly worried about falling behind in rent payments and was considering selling the cafe.

Nov. 7: Friends, family and neighbors in Brooklyn's Ditmas Park organized a search for Rubin and posted fliers throughout their community.

Nov. 14: A neighbor said Rubin had arranged to sublet his room and may have been planning an escape from his new business and financial problems.

Nov. 18: Rubin's family decided to break their silence and ask media to help publicize the disappearance.

Nov. 20: Rubin's family hired a private investigator to search hotels, homeless shelters and even Zuccotti Park, where the Occupy Wall Street protestors camped.

Dec. 5: New York Police said the trail had gone cold and referred the case to their Missing Persons division.

Rubin's body was found about 8:30 a.m. along Applewood Drive on a bend in the road between Huckleberry and Haasadahl roads. A public works employee discovered the corpse while cleaning up tree branches after a weekend snowstorm.

Lehigh County coroner Scott Grimm has ruled Rubin's death a homicide.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Lehigh County Homicide Task Force Detective Lou Tallarico or Detective Tom Gersbach at 610-437-5252.

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