‘Savage’ Killings of 2 Women and 2 Children Stun Hudson River City
In more than 40 years in law enforcement, Police Chief John Tedesco said, he had never seen such a “savage” crime.Posted — Updated
In more than 40 years in law enforcement, Police Chief John Tedesco said, he had never seen such a “savage” crime.
“It was the number of people killed, the manner in which they were killed,” said Tedesco, the top police official in Troy, New York. “And the children being involved.”
It was frigid in Troy on Tuesday afternoon, with the wind chill in the single digits and a coating of snow on the ground, when a property manager received a call asking him to check on the tenants of a basement apartment in the city’s Lansingburgh neighborhood. When he entered the apartment, he found two women and two children, all unresponsive.
The police were summoned, and all four victims were pronounced dead. Tedesco would not describe the cause of death or details of the scene. But the scene, he said at a news conference Wednesday, was one that no one involved would ever forget.
Names have not been released, but the police said the victims were a 22-year-old woman, a 36-year-old woman and the older woman’s two children: a 5-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy. All four appeared to live in the apartment, Tedesco said at the news conference, and “there was a relationship between the two adults.” He did not specify the nature of the relationship.
The quadruple homicide stunned residents of Troy, a city of 50,000 on the eastern bank of the Hudson River, seven miles from Albany. Before Tuesday, the city had recorded only two homicides this year.
The annual average is six homicides, Tedesco said, most of them domestic. While domestic violence is among the motives the police are considering in this week’s killings, he said there was no evidence that it was more likely than any other possibility.
No suspect is in custody, and no motive has been determined. But at the news conference, Tedesco said “certain factors we uncovered during the investigation” indicated that the killings were targeted, and that there was no imminent threat to other residents.
In a series of tweets Wednesday afternoon, Mayor Patrick Madden called Troy “a strong, resilient city that always comes together to support our neighbors & friends impacted by tragic incidents like this.” He and Tedesco asked anyone with information on the crime to contact the Troy Police Department. The New York State Police are assisting with the investigation.
The building where the killings took place, 158 Second Ave., sits steps from the riverbank in northwest Troy, in an area where many former one- and two-family homes have been subdivided into apartments.
“They were the most beautiful Victorian homes in Troy, overlooking the river,” said Mark McGrath, the City Council member representing the neighborhood. Today, some remain owner-occupied, but many are home to tenants who stay for relatively short periods of time.
McGrath said he did not know the occupants of the apartment in question. But before Tuesday, he said, the police had never been called to the house, and there is no indication that the tenants were engaged in any illegal activity.
“They were not on the Troy police radar at all,” he said.
There is very little crime in that neighborhood, McGrath added — less even than in neighborhoods a few blocks away.
“For someone to do this to two children is horrific,” he said. “I can’t even explain how people feel up here. We’ve had homicides here in the past, as all communities do, but children — it really, really has affected this community.”
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