CLARKSTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A terrible crime was committed in Rockland County. An infant was found in the home where her mother and grandmother were found dead.
On Tuesday afternoon police were speaking to a person of interest, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.
The incident happened at a bungalow off Lake Road in Valley Cottage. Police rushed there after receiving a 911 call. The bodies were recovered just after 7 a.m.
“The sum and substance was that there were some noises heard, possibly gunshots, but also a baby crying,” Clarkstown Police Chief Raymond McCullagh said.
UPDATE: Double homicide in #RocklandCounty – women ages 27 and 63 shot dead on property of Tolstoy Foundation in Valley Cottage. Infant found uninjured inside rental cottage. @clarkstownpd speaking with person of interest.
— Tony Aiello (@AielloTV) May 26, 2020
McCullagh said the baby girl appeared unharmed, but her 27-year-old mother and 63-year-old grandmother were both dead from gunshot wounds.
“Very nice mother, very nice daughter, and the baby,” neighbor Marina Wells said, adding when asked for her reaction to the killings, “This is horrible because the baby is alive and is going to be an orphan.”
The crime took place on the property of the Tolstoy Foundation, which was founded 80 years ago to house and assist refugees from the Soviet Union, centered around an Orthodox church.
A resident told Aiello with the fall of communism the mission of the Tolstoy Foundation has changed. It now rents cottages on the property to adults who meet income guidelines.
“Very surprised. I’m shocked. It’s a very peaceful community. I always keep my door open. I’ve been here for 13 years and nothing has happened,” neighbor Serge Gleboff said.
Police said a car belonging to the 27-year-old victim was stolen and recovered, and a man described as a person of interest was located and being spoken to.
The baby girl was taken to Montefiore Nyack Hospital for evaluation.
“A tragic day in Rockland County, town of Clarkstown, where an infant baby girl lost both her mother and grandmother,” Rockland County District Attorney Tom Walsh said.
Many questions remain unresolved, including why anyone would resort to such violence.
Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call the Clarkstown Detective Bureau at (845)639-5800.