Hiking Trails

Duo accused of shooting Bronx man on NJ hiking trail

NEWARK, NJ (1010 WINS) — Two men, including a 71-year-old man, have been charged with the murder of a Bronx man who was found shot dead on a New Jersey hiking trail in March, the Essex County District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday.

Michael Verdel, 71, of the Bronx, and Posley Sulaiman, 31, of Detroit, face charges in the March 4 murder of Kelsey Steels, who was killed on the Eagle Rock reservation trail in West Orange.

Prosecutors allege Verdel and Sulaiman met Steels at Verdel’s Bronx apartment and then took him to the runway, where he was shot.

Steels’ body was finally discovered by several hikers around 2 p.m.

Verdel, also known as “the rabbi,” was arrested in New York and extradited to New Jersey and will appear in custody on May 16.

Sulaiman is still being held at Rikers Island on a New York firearms charge and was scheduled to appear in New York court on Wednesday.

The two are charged with first-degree murder, first-degree murder, first-degree conspiracy and first-degree robbery, as well as second-degree charges of possession of illegal weapons and possession of illegal weapons at illegal purposes.

The investigation remains active and ongoing, according to the prosecution. Anyone with information is asked to contact the Essex County Attorney’s Tip Line at 1-877-TIPS-4EC or 1-877-847-7432. All calls will remain confidential.