DUANESBURG – The Duanesburg community responded Thursday with shock and sadness at the murder of a kindergartner and his mother, allegedly at the hands of his father.
Authorities prepared Thursday evening to arraign the father, identified as 47-year-old Nelson D. Patino, on two counts of second-degree murder.
Late Thursday afternoon, Duanesburg schools Superintendent James Niedermeier wrote of a school community in mourning, confirming the 5-year-old attended kindergarten at Duanesburg Elementary School.
“We are devastated by the senseless loss of such a young, vibrant life and extend our deepest condolences to the many people who loved and cared for this little boy,” Niedermeier wrote.
The district’s crisis team responded to the school early Thursday to assist anyone who needed additional support, Niedermeier said. The district also sent home a letter to parents encouraging them to talk to their children about the news and be aware of any signs of potential distress.
Authorities say Patino stabbed his 5-year-old son and his 37-year-old wife to death. He is also accused of attacking their 2-year-old son. The 2-year-old survived and remained hospitalized Thursday. Neither the mother nor her 5-year-old son have been identified, pending notification of family.
After attacking his family, state police said Patino called authorities to admit to the crime and he injured himself. He was treated and released to be held pending arraignment Thursday evening.
Patino attacked his family at the family home, 6826 Duanesburg Road. Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney called it “truly a horrific scene.”
The two-story home sits close to the road, Route 7, and close to the well-traveled Route 7-Route 20 intersection in the hamlet of Duanesburg.
“Duanesburg is a small, tight-knit community, which is an attribute that I think will serve us well in the coming weeks as we work together to process this devastating loss,” Niedermeier’s statement continued.
State police kept the stretch of Route 7 in front of the home closed for their investigation until mid-day. Evidence technicians in white protective clothing could be seen removing bags and boxes from the home and placing them in a van.
The home also sits around the corner from the popular Duanesburg Diner, which a woman at the scene who declined to give her name indicated had familial connections to Nelson Patino.
The Duanesburg Diner Thursday posted a quick note, thanking supporters and indicating the restaurant would be closed for the foreseeable future.
“We appreciate all of your support right now,” the diner post read. “The Diner will be closed until further notice.”
More than two dozen commenters responded offering prayers and support. “Praying for all the family at this difficult time,” one response read.
At a press conference Thursday afternoon, state police indicated there were no noted domestic incident report history related to the family and no noted criminal history.
“It’s always difficult when you have young lives lost,” state police Major R. Christopher West said. “So keep in mind this investigation is still in its early stages and we still have a lot of work to do.”
Elsewhere in Duanesburg, community members Thursday morning expressed shock and sadness at what happened in the normally quiet community.
“I just feel bad for the family,” longtime Duanesburg resident William Frank said Thursday morning.
Town Supervisor Roger Tidball said he has not received any updates from police in the incident and is letting them handle the situation. Duanesburg, he said, is a low crime community.
“It’s a tragedy is what it is,” Tidball said. He added parents will likely be hugging their children a little tighter.