A former Waterford constable is being held in the Saratoga County jail charged with a murder that police said occurred nearly 40 years ago.
According to the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department, state police arrested Nelson Costello, 62, of Prescott, Ariz., Jan. 29. He was arraigned in Clifton Park Town Court on a charge of murder.
According to court records, Costello is accused of killing David M. Bacon of Schaghticoke on April 10, 1969, in Waterford when both men were 22 years old.
No further information was given.
State police released a brief statement Monday confirming an investigation is ongoing and that no comments would be made at this time.
Costello is being held without bail and is scheduled to return to town court on Wednesday.
Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III said he will not comment on the case, saying on Monday that it would be “ethically inappropriate” for him to discuss the case at this stage.
Court sources said Monday a grand jury is considering the case against Costello.
The town court does not have Costello’s defense attorney listed, but Saratoga County Public Defender John Ciulla said his office is not handling the case.
Clifton Park Town Justice James F. Hughes said Monday that state police contacted him Jan. 29 and asked if he would issue a warrant for the arrest of Costello.
At that time, Hughes said he was told Costello was in Arizona. Seven hours later, about 1 a.m. Jan. 30, state police brought Costello to Town Court where Hughes arraigned him and then had him taken to Saratoga County jail without bail.
Hughes said he had no information about what prompted state police to arrest Costello nearly 40 years after the alleged murder. Hughes noted there is no statute of limitations on murder.
Waterford Mayor J. Bert Mahoney said he remembers Costello from when they were both attending Waterford High School and later when Costello was a part-time town police officer.
“They called them constables back then,” Mahoney said. “A lot of the young guys got jobs as constables. They had badges and uniforms and drove the police car. We didn’t have a full-time police force until the ’70s.”
Mahoney said he hadn’t seen Costello for nearly 40 years.
“His family were on the boats, the tug boats. I think he was on the boats for a while,” Mahoney. “Then he kind of disappeared. I heard he moved to Florida back then.”
Mahoney said Costello drove a Dodge Charger and he remembered discussing cars with him.
“I got out of the Navy in 1968 and got married late that year. I’d say [Costello] left town sometime after that,” Mahoney said.