MAHOPAC, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A quiet neighborhood has turned into a crime scene. Police are calling the death of a Putnam County woman a homicide, but how did it happen?
Cops sealed off the entrance to a private development called ‘Hunter’s Run’ in Mahopac, questioning residents as they searched for one or more killers.
The spacious home on Coventry Circle which backs up to a wooded area became a crime scene when 75-year-old Perla Gatchalian was found dead mid-afternoon on Thursday. A nervous neighbor who hadn’t seen her called 911.
The search for suspects continued through the night and well into Friday.
“We had bloodhounds and K9s searching the entire neighborhood, detectives going door-to-door, this neighborhood, Route 6. They’re looking for leads, anything we possibly can,” Chief Michael Cazzari, Carmel Police, said.
Neighbors were on edge.
“If it’s a home invasion that’s very scary, very scary,” Carolee Grafty said.
Details were being kept secret. Cops said she was killed, but they wouldn’t say how.
“It’s still under investigation, but we’re sure it’s a homicide,” Cazzari said.
Between the town, the county sheriff, and the state police, the chief said there’s more than enough cops to protect the neighborhood. He advised simple, prudent precautions like not admitting or picking up strangers, but said residents should not be alarmed.
No one speaking to CBS2 would admit to knowing the victim, but her face did ring a bell with some.
“Looks very familiar, probably saw her in the grocery store,” John Benvin said, “I feel for her and her family.”