Howard Beach man, known for crooning at Second Avenue subway dig, missing

Screenshot via YouTube/david fischer

Police continue to search for a missing ironworker from Howard Beach who became an Internet celebrity for singing American standards at the Second Avenue subway construction site in Manhattan.

Gary Russo, 54, was last seen at 12:15 a.m. on July 28 at his residence on 90th Street near 156th Avenue. His family reported him missing to the 106th Precinct a week later.

Dubbed the “Second Avenue Sinatra,” Russo became famous in 2011 after a YouTube video surfaced of him singing Frank Sinatra’s “Summer Wind” during his lunch break while working at the Second Avenue subway site on York Avenue.

According to published reports, Russo quickly gained a following from local residents and workers who considered his daily, 30-minute performances as a respite from the ongoing, noisy dig.

The video went viral, and Russo went on to be featured on “Good Morning America.” He also covered some of Sinatra’s greatest hits during a periodic show at Manhattan’s Metropolitan Room.

He also co-wrote with psychologist Dr. Andrea Goeglein a self-help book, “Don’t Die with Your Song Unsung,” which speaks to the power of “positive psychology” and setting goals to find happiness.

The Huffington Post reported in March that Russo took up singing as a way to fight depression after going through a divorce. Quoting family members, WCBS-TV reported that Russo became depressed recently following the death of a friend. On his Facebook page, Russo posted pictures in June of a houseboat he was working on at a location in Brooklyn.

Photo via Facebook/Gary Russo- 2nd Ave Sinatra
Photo via Facebook/Gary Russo- 2nd Ave Sinatra

A law enforcement source familiar with the investigation said on Thursday that detectives and local volunteer firefighters searched the Spring Creek area for any evidence of Russo, but nothing was found.

Russo stands 5 foot 9 inches tall and weighs 180 pounds. There was no description of what he was wearing the last time anyone saw him.

Anyone with information regarding Russo’s whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS, visit their website or send a text message to 274637 (CRIMES), then enter TIP577. All calls and messages are kept confidential.


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