Schenectady police report progress in several unsolved murders

Schenectady police report progress in several unsolved murders

SCHENECTADY — On the heels of the summer arrest of the suspected shooter in a 3½-year-old homicide, a police commander is confident that taking full advantage of advances in technology and forensics will help detectives to solve other such cases before they go cold.

“Fortunately for us, there were a lot of methods that we salvaged from state police, federal agencies, and just technology that just wasn’t available at the time these cases came to light. ‘an initial investigation,’ said Schenectady Lt. Paul Antonovich, chief detective officer for the day shift, in a recent interview.

He said working side-by-side with the state police major crimes unit and the state intelligence center has been a big help in “showing us some ways to use data to brush a picture we weren’t necessarily aware of before”.

The Detective Division is handling homicides and said it was making good progress on at least three more homicides that could soon lead to arrests, Antonovich added.

Here is a partial list of some of the unsolved homicides in the city of Schenectady

November 30, 2007: Denise Hart

September 22, 2012: Justin Coleman

June 15, 2013: Shawn Morgan

June 18, 2015: Marquise D. Solomon

May 19, 2020: Fred S. Gentry

Source: Schenectady Police Department analysts

He credited Sgt. Dean DeMartino for his strong leadership skills and noted how homicide cases at the hands of his group of about half a dozen young but seasoned and driven detectives, most of whom are familiar with the latest technology, led to the August 2019 arrest of the shooters Authorities had long believed they shot Roscoe Foster in February 2019.

Electronic technology associated with social media posts, the lieutenant said, “played a significant role” in solidifying the case against Clifford Charles. Antonovich declined to go into details as the case is still pending and he does not want to disclose police investigative techniques.

Now 20 and behind bars, Charles is believed to have been among a group of men who allegedly lured Foster, under the false pretense of wanting to buy him marijuana, to a city street. Police say Charles shot Foster, 38, who later died in hospital.

The accused, who was in his mid-teens at the time of the shooting, pleaded not guilty to first degree murder, attempted robbery and conspiracy. First degree murder carries a maximum charge of life imprisonment without parole.

“Based on these new investigative techniques that we were able to use and the technology that we were able to leverage, we were able to bring what was kind of a circumstantial case much closer to what the prosecutor’s office believed solid and actionable,” Antonovitch added.

He said to begin with that they plan to employ a similar strategy on at least three homicide cases, the oldest dating back to 2013.

“The way I see it is what we’ve done for these cases that we’re working on now kind of opens up new avenues for us, now that we know how to use this technology…we’re going to be able to do it. streamline, and hopefully putting these techniques into practice right away will lead to investigations that materialize much faster and result in an arrest sooner than what we’ve been able to do in the past,” Antonovich said.

Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney said there’s some truth to the idea that the first 48 hours, which are the basis of a popular reality TV series, after murder has occurred are “the sweet spot” to find leads in hopes of solving a murder. .

“But I found that many cases can and do get resolved after a while, but there comes a time when too much has happened, and it gets harder,” he said, adding that “ advances in forensics” have also helped solve some of these lingering murders.

“A perfect example of this is the case of Suzanne Nauman, a young girl strangled at a Schenectady golf driving range, which was solved years later thanks to advances in forensics,” he said. The case dates back to 1995.

Although alleged killer Stanislaw Maciag was dead, authorities were able to obtain DNA from his relatives, then exhume his body later for DNA samples that authorities said matched those of the 17-year-old victim. .

“There are also cases that are solved because someone who knows something is arrested and comes forward, and sometimes it can take a while, or a witness comes forward and it produces other leads, or sometimes you get leads for natural pursuits against other people. for other crimes,” Carney said.

As with the Foster homicide, Antonovich said, police often have a good idea of ​​the killer’s identity, but must provide enough evidence to prove their case in court. To complicate the case, uncooperative witnesses.

Police Chief Eric Clifford said the murders are always a priority in the department and investigators are following all leads.

Even with promising leads, he said police need the public’s help.

Clifford recalled his days as a lieutenant when he investigated cold cases. Two stand out in his mind, the murders of Denise Hart and Eddy Dan.

Dan, a vacuum cleaner salesman, was found bound and gagged in his Chrisler Avenue apartment in 1993.

A few months later, Hart, a mother of two young children, disappeared from her Schenectady apartment in 2007, and her dismembered remains were found in the village of Menands.

“We have always maintained our interest in keeping these cases active, and we periodically assign them to detectives for a quick review, he said, adding that sometimes “you have to look at the smallest of small details and then run with him.”

Carney said city detectives sometimes meet with his office to discuss a cold case they’re investigating.

“I think often times a victim’s family who are in regular contact with the police helps remind the police that this is a case where they should spend time if they can follow up on any leads, and I think the Schenectady police are doing a really good job of looking at these old cases and putting people on them, and seeing if they can pick up anything new,” Carney said.

#Schenectady #police #report #progress #unsolved #murders

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *