NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) — Police say that a hunger for heroin apparently drove two teens in a quiet Orange County town to commit murder over the weekend.
As CBS 2’s Lou Young reported, the victim was a well-liked 81-year-old woman.
Goshen resident Emma Mills was killed when her quiet country home was set ablaze by two teenagers trying to cover their tracks, police said.
“I’m shocked. I’m actually flabbergasted to hear this,” neighbor Mary Ann Rabaglia said.
Jennifer Molyneaux, 17, is suspected of beating the old woman in her bedroom during a burglary gone bad on Saturday.
She and Devin Giordano, 19, were allegedly there looking for cash to buy drugs.
“Jennifer made statements to family members alluding to her role and that’s how her name came up at first,” Major Patrick Regan, New York State Police, said.
Cops said that they found the money from the murder scene at the home where Giordano lives with his parents.
Both suspects apparently know the victim’s grandson who may have told them that Mills kept a lot of cash around.
The idyllic community has been reeling under a sharp uptick in crime fueled by a demand for heroin.
“It used to be we watched this stuff on the news in the city, New York, but not anymore,” Betty Slesinski said.
Even with the official cause of death undetermined both teens have been charged with murder.
“Ultimately all that matters is that she was killed during the commission of that felony,” Orange County District Attorney, David Hoovler said.
As one family planned a funeral, two others were busy trying to organize a criminal defense.
Among the flowers and offerings left for Mills was a note from a stranger asking her to watch over the local kids.
“Our children are dying for heroin, now they are killing for it too,” the note reads.
Residents said that this was the first murder to take place in Goshen since the arrest of serial killer Nathaniel White in 1994.
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