Elderly woman found dead in Mahopac home

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Friday, April 28, 2017
Elderly woman found dead in Mahopac home
Tim Fleischer has the latest

MAHOPAC, New York (WABC) -- Police in Mahopac are searching for suspects in a deadly home invasion after a woman was found dead in her house on Coventry Circle, in the private development of Hunters Run, on Thursday afternoon.

The victim was identified as 75-year-old Perla Gatchalian, and authorities are now looking for her killer or killers.

Investigators are not saying how she died, but her death is being treated as a homicide, and an autopsy is pending.

"We are sure it is a homicide," Putnam Police Chief Michael Cazzari said. "At this time, we do not have a cause of death."

At the only entrance to the private community, police were stopping and questioning residents. Some were not willing to offer information about the victim.

"If it were my family, I wouldn't want to give out the information," one resident said.

After the victim was found, state police began reaching out to neighbors and area residents.

He said, 'We are investigating a homicide," neighbor Carolee Graf said. "If it's a home invasion, that's very scary. Very scary."

Gatchalian's death has shaken the normally quaint community.

"Frightening, I guess," neighbor Larry Keane said. "It's amazing that it would happen. I guess when it happens in any quiet community, it just stuns the people that live around."

Around the crime scene, there are heavily-wooded areas, and special K-9 units were brought in to search in the hopes of picking up a scent or a trail.

"We are running down every possible lead," Cazzari said. "There is nothing that isn't under consideration, so we had bloodhounds and K-9's checking the entire neighborhood."

Police do not believe there is a threat to the community, but neighbors are still being a little more cautious.

"We are more alert," Graf said. "Probably sleep a little lighter."

Anyone with information regarding the case are urged to contact police.