WESTBURY, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — The suspicious death of a 22-year-old college student from Long Island has many in her hometown shocked and desperate for answers.
John Doran of Westbury said the suspicious death of his neighbor, Haley Anderson, robbed this world of a compassionate, charismatic young woman who was just getting her start as a health professional.
“When I realized it was her, the bottom fell out. I’m very upset,” Doran said.
Anderson was found dead on Friday in a home near Binghamton University, where she was enrolled in the nursing program, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reported.
That city’s police detectives have not said anything about how the college student died, but classified her death as a homicide.
Detectives are looking to talk to a man, also a nursing student, they said Anderson had a romantic relationship with, but they’re not calling him a suspect.
They said he left the country before the body was discovered.
“It’s so terrible and my heart bleeds for the family,” Westbury resident Tracey Florio said.
Anderson’s mother and younger sister live in Westbury. Their home became crowded with supportive neighbors, friends and relatives on Sunday.
CBS2’s Carlin was told family members were too distraught to talk about their loss, and the mysteries surrounding it.
“It’s hard to understand, you know?” neighbor Marie Pascarella said.
“Your kid goes away, you’re expecting them to do something good and then you hear something like that. It’s scary,” neighbor Dana Brown added.
Before going off to college Anderson worked at a shop walking distance from her home, selling Italian ices and ice cream. Her younger sister also worked at the establishment.
Emma Derbin is a longtime friend. She said she met Anderson when she started working at the shop.
“This is not an easy loss at all,” Derbin said. “She was literally like the greatest person ever. She never didn’t have a smile on her face.”
“This year she did an internship at a hospital here on Long Island and she told me about all the operations that she witnessed. (It’s a) tragic loss,” Doran added.
For many in Westbury, not knowing the how or the why of this homicide case haunts them. And they want whoever is responsible for Anderson’s death to be identified and brought to justice.