Foss: Family of murdered Schenectady man seeks answers

Roscoe Foster
Roscoe Foster

Amanda Patterson doesn’t know that she’ll ever have closure. 

The late-January murder of her longtime boyfriend, Roscoe Foster, left a wound that might never fully heal. 

“We’re all pretty much broken from losing him,” Patterson, 36, said, when I visited with her and Foster’s older sister, Brandy Lewis, during the final week of May. 

What Patterson and Lewis are seeking are answers. 

They want to know who killed Foster, whose death marked the city’s first gun-related homicide in almost a year and a half, and why. And they want to remind people that Foster’s murder remains unsolved, and to inspire anyone with information about his case to share it with police. 

“We don’t want this to become a cold case,” Patterson said. “We don’t want people to forget about the fact that this happened.”

Patterson and Lewis were stirred to talk about Foster after hearing about the murder of 21-year-old Ayanna C. Hunter, a Schenectady resident gunned down outside of the Hillcrest Village West apartments in Niskayuna in late May. Their concern, they said, is that Foster’s death has faded from public consciousness, overshadowed by newer and more immediate cases. 

I know from working at The Daily Gazette and following murder investigations that it can take time — sometimes a lot of time — for law enforcement to break open a case and make an arrest. 

But that’s little consolation to grief-stricken friends and family, who must try to move forward and rebuild their lives even though their loved one’s killer remains free. 

Sgt. Matthew Dearing, a spokesman for the Schenectady Police Department, said that Foster’s murder is still under investigation. 

Lewis and Patterson described Foster, 38, as a loving father with a big heart, who would “do anything for anybody.” 

“He was very giving, trusting, caring and a wonderful father, uncle and boyfriend,” Patterson said. “I have a four-year-old son with Roscoe. He talks about him every day and looks at his picture.” Foster also has three older biological children from a previous relationship, and a stepdaughter that he also raised. 

Foster enjoyed fishing, cookouts, swimming and Bruce Lee movies. He liked cooking, and had worked as a chef. He attended both Mohonasen and Schenectady high schools. 

Foster was shot in his car in the early-morning hours of Jan. 25, at the intersection of Becker and Linden streets in the city’s Central State Street area. 

A witness told The Gazette that he saw the car stop “and someone got out and started walking in the street. He then fell motionless in the street and I suddenly noticed another person near the sidewalk between my house and the house to my right. This person quickly spun around and ran up the sidewalk toward Elder Street.”  

The circumstances surrounding Foster’s death remain murky, Patterson said. 

“We have no way to get answers because he’s not here to answer our questions,” she said.

“We’re angry because we have no answers,” Lewis said, adding, “My brother deserves justice.” 

Their anger is understandable. 

Waiting for justice is hard, and doesn’t get any easier with time. 

With any luck, there will be an arrest in connection with Foster’s death soon, and his loved ones will get the answers, if not the closure, that they seek. 

Reach Sara Foss at [email protected]. Opinions expressed here are her own and not necessarily the newspaper’s. 



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