Brooklyn chef with Philly roots found dead in Lehigh Co. cemetery

Colin Devlin was found dead in his car in Lehigh County yesterday. Bad news for his businesses may have led him to take his own life.
Colin Devlin was found dead in his car in Lehigh County yesterday. Bad news for his businesses may have led him to take his own life.
Posted: July 26, 2013

COLIN DEVLIN, a Philly-born restaurateur who found success in Brooklyn overseeing three dining establishments, seemed to have it all.

Bustling businesses in Brooklyn's Williamsburg section and impressive reviews aside, the 42-year-old Temple University graduate was married to wife Kristina and had two young children.

So the reasons that drove Devlin to fatally shoot himself at a Lehigh County cemetery may only be found in a note left inside his nearby car.

Devlin's body was found shortly before 5:30 a.m. yesterday on the grounds of the Chestnut Hill Church cemetery in Lower Milford Township by a group of workers fixing the church's steeple, said John Binde, pastor with the church. The men, he was told later by his staff, saw "suspicious activity" and called police, Binde said.

Paul F. Hoffman Sr., the chief deputy coroner for Lehigh County, identified Devlin and said he was pronounced dead on the scene at 7:25 a.m. The restaurateur's death was ruled a suicide by a self-inflicted gunshot wound, said Hoffman, who confirmed the note was found in Devlin's car.

Devlin, who lived in Brooklyn around the block from his first restaurant, DuMont, disappeared Wednesday after a dejecting business meeting, his wife told investigators, the Wall Street Journal reported.

He learned that he'd been rejected for a bank loan and that his other remaining eatery, DuMont Burger, was in financial trouble, according to the newspaper.

The news came one month after Devlin shuttered his upscale restaurant, Dressler, because he couldn't reach a lease agreement with the property's owner, according to a note posted on the restaurant's website.

Kristina Devlin grew alarmed when she received a text at 4:18 p.m. asking her to take care of their children, the Journal reported. She also told them she thought he was headed to their second home in Saylorsburg, Monroe County, which according to a real-estate database, the couple bought last summer for $640,000.

Kristina Devlin said they had a .38-caliber gun stored at the home.

The cemetery is about an hour southwest from Saylorsburg.

In a 2009 interview with StarChefs.com, Devlin said he began in the food industry at age 14, working at as a dishwasher for a Philadelphia catering company. He studied to be a teacher at Temple but continued to work and tend bar. In 1996, he moved to New York City.


On Twitter: @ReginaMedina

Online: ph.ly/DNEducation

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