TRIBECA, Manhattan – Neighbors, customers and family members were mourning on Thursday the death of a beloved neighborhood jeweler found lifeless in his Manhattan store with zip ties around his neck and lying in a pool of blood.
Omid Gholian, 43, emigrated from Iran to the United States looking for a better life for his family. He opened World of Gold N Diamond at Church and Duane streets in TriBeCa and has run the store for more than 10 years.
“It is heartbreaking. He was a good man,” customer Maria Gonzalez said. “You just don’t want to lose good people.”
Gholian’s brother reported him missing earlier this week, saying he last saw him on Monday. Neighboring store owners and customers knew something wasn’t quite right when they noticed the store was closed on Tuesday, Valentine’s Day.
Law enforcement sources told PIX11 News Gholian’s brother took police to the store Wednesday evening. The brother unlocked the front gate to let them in, showing no signs of a forced entry at the store.
Customers said Gholian’s store is not one that anyone could walk into, with visitors having to be buzzed in by someone inside.
It was about 6 p.m. Wednesday when police and Gholian’s brother found the businessman dead inside the store’s bathroom.
His cause of manner of death will be determined by the city's medical examiner.
"The medical examiner has not yet ruled on the cause and manner of death. It is pending additional investigative information from police," the medical examiner's office said in a statement.
Police on Thursday gathered evidence and scoured the area for surveillance video. Not one item was reported stolen and the store was not in disarray, adding to the mystery of what happened to Gholian – and why.
The victim’s family asked for privacy at their home in Brooklyn.
Meanwhile, at the TriBeCa store, customers visited to remember someone they say was more than a jeweler, but a friend.
“The nicest guy. I am shocked, shocked this could happen on a street like this,” Israel Irzkowitz said.