By Christina Santucci
A 63-year-old man was found dead Tuesday evening in an Ozone Park apartment where he had been staying with a couple he befriended, police and the friends said.
The NYPD found Walter Corcoran lying on the floor of a building on Liberty Avenue near 88th Street at about 6:30 p.m., and emergency responders pronounced him dead, according to police.
There were no signs of trauma to Corcoran’s body, and the medical examiner will determine his cause of death, police said.
Annie Marion, 48, said she had become friendly with Corcoran, known as “Wally,” who often hung out on Liberty Avenue and 92nd Street, in 2005.
She had just moved to the neighborhood and was trying to take a bus to Jamaica Avenue when Corcoran gave her directions.
Over time, the two became friends, and when he showed up on her doorstep a few months back with no place else to go, she and her husband Dwayne Verdun took him in.
“He was always kind,” Marion said.
Verdun said Corcoran’s basement apartment, where he had lived for 17 years, had been flooded during Superstorm Sandy last year. Two of his sisters had died and two other siblings lived in Florida.
Every evening around 5:30 or 6 p.m., Corcoran would arrive at the apartment, and the trio would have dinner together, The next morning, he would be out the door very early in the morning.
“When he comes down those stairs, I don’t know where he goes,” Marion said, adding that he was well-known in the neighborhood and often swept the streets.
Corcoran, who the couple said had been in treatment for substance abuse for the past 30 years, had spent the previous four days in Jamaica Hospital after becoming illin a restaurant down the block, Marion said.
“We had no idea where he was,” she said. “He just appeared at the door and said he got discharged.”
On Tuesday, Marion and her husband went out to pick up a pizza.
“When we got back, he was laid out on the couch,” she said as they waited for police to let them back into the apartment Tuesday night.
An investigation into Corcoran’s death was ongoing, the NYPD said in a statement early Wednesday.
Reach editor Christina Santucci by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4589.