BROOKLYN, NY - A businessman whose body was found in an upstate ditch after a date with a Brooklyn woman he’d met online was killed by her ex-boyfriend, authorities charged yesterday.
Mikhail Chernyaev, of Brighton Beach, was arrested and charged with second degree murder in the 2012 death of Charles Butler, 46, a dad of three whom police said had moved from Florida to Manhattan just before he vanished last Sept. 19.
Chernyaev, 46, is the ex-boyfriend and baby daddy of Anna Lioznov — whom Butler had met on the Internet.
Butler was last seen at Lioznov’s apartment, which is across the street from Chernyaev’s home.
Butler’s family reported him missing Sept. 21. His body was found in Port Jervis in October, police said.
It was not identified until last Friday.
Police did not release the cause of death and it was unclear why it took so long to identify him.
A source said Butler was identified by a thumbprint.
Chernyaev’s arrest comes after Butler’s daughter, Molly — who saw her dad in Manhattan the day he disappeared — accused the NYPD during a February interview with Florida’s WFTV-Channel 9 of not doing enough to look for him.
Police had questioned Lioznov — who told WFTV Chernyaev was “very manipulative, very controlling” — at length after Butler’s disappearance.
Sources yesterday said she is not believed to be involved in his murder.
Chernyaev went to the 19th precinct this weekend after being called in by cops for question.
He confessed after a lengthy interview, police sources said.