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Farbotnik found dead at his residence

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MASSENA — A 57-year-old Massena businessman suffered a medical emergency early Tuesday and died, according to state police.

Senior Investigator Judy Trimboli, state police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, said troopers responded to a 911 call at 4:58 a.m. Tuesday at the James A. Farbotnik residence, 355 Route 37C. Mr. Farbotnik operated a computer repair store in downtown Massena.

St. Lawrence County Coroner June H. Wood said Tuesday night that an autopsy showed Mr. Farbotnik died of natural causes.

“We ruled it natural causes from heart disease,” she said.

Mr. Farbotnik previously had told Johnson Newspapers he had serious heart issues.

Mr. Farbotnik’s wife, Vinira Z. Farbotnik, 43, was found dead in a pond on the couple’s property in the early morning hours of Memorial Day 2011. The investigation into her death was ongoing at the time of Mr. Farbotnik’s death.

Mr. Farbotnik had called 911 at 1:10 a.m. May 31, 2011, to report he had discovered his wife unresponsive near their family pond. Mrs. Farbotnik’s body was located several hundred yards from her residence behind a horse pasture.

Mr. Farbotnik said the day after his wife’s body was found that he had no idea how she died.

But Mr. Farbotnik, the owner of Cyberworld USA, said he did have a lot of enemies, and one of those enemies may have played a role in his wife’s death.

Mr. Farbotnik spoke at length that day, detailing his recollection of the moments leading up to when he said he discovered his wife submerged in three feet of water in the family pond with a canoe on top of her.

St. Lawrence County Coroner James M. Sienkiewcyz said an autopsy found no signs of any physical trauma to Mrs. Farbotnik.

Mr. Farbotnik said he was questioned extensively by state police in the hours after his wife was found about any possible involvement he might have had in her death. He vehemently denied any wrongdoing.

“I have done nothing wrong. My wife is dead and my children have done nothing wrong,” he said the day after his wife’s death. “I’m praying to God this was a terrible tragedy.”

The Farbotniks have five children, ranging in age from elementary school to high school students. Ms. Trimboli said state police are working with the St. Lawrence County Department of Social Services Child Protective Services for the short-term placement of the five children, and an animal control officer has responded to the Farbotnik property to address the plethora of animals on the property, including several miniature horses.

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