The 56-year-old Guyanese woman found dead in her Division Street apartment Saturday afternoon died from blunt force trauma to the head, according to police.
The body of Jaiwanti Mangar was found about 2:45 p.m. in her first-floor apartment at 402 Division St. Police are investigating the incident as a homicide but there are no suspects, according to spokesman Officer Kevin Green.
“This is the last thing you would expect to happen,” Edwin Permaul, pastor of Christ Family Fellowship Church on Albany Street, said Sunday.
Christ Family Fellowship Church has a large Guyanese following. Permaul said Mangar’s youngest son Benjamin was recently married there.
Permaul called Mangar a “devoted Christian woman.” He said her family had lived on Long Island and moved to Schenectady about three years ago.
Permaul said Mangar lived in the house with her two sons. He said he heard that one of the men had taken his wife to school — she is taking college classes at the University at Albany, he said — and the other was at work when the incident happened.
Police have not confirmed that information and have not said who found Mangar’s body and notified police.
Permaul said he hasn’t seen Mangar’s husband recently. Neighbors said Mangar’s husband was in Guyana.
“I think he’s out of town,” Permaul said.
A next-door neighbor said the family was always quiet.
Police have not said whether Mangar’s husband is a suspect in the incident.
Neighbors expressed disbelief that something so violent could happen in the neighborhood, which is next to Ellis Hospital’s McClellan Campus near Central Park.
Erin Ryan, of 345 Division St., has three children under age 7. Ryan said she didn’t know Mangar and only learned of her death when police, firemen and emergency personnel flooded the neighborhood.
Ryan said the neighborhood is usually quiet.
“That’s why I moved here — to get away from all that,” Ryan said as she got her children ready to play outside Sunday morning.
This is the second time in less than two years that residents have dealt with violence in the neighborhood. In January 2007, neighbors watched as police investigated an afternoon home invasion and shooting at 421 Division St. that left one man dead and another with a hand injury.
Charles E. Little III pleaded guilty to two felony burglary charges in the incident, which left his partner, 21-year-old Aaron Peavy, dead, shot by Ralph Schulenberg, Jr., who lived at the home the two entered. Little suffered the gunshot wound to his hand.