Police in Schenectady spent the first day of 2013 investigating the suspicious death of an elderly city woman found in her apartment.
Mary Greco, 82, described by neighbors as kind and quiet, was found dead at 1402 Stanford St. in the Vale neighborhood, just opposite the corner of Plymouth Street.
Schenectady Police Lt. Mark McCracken said investigators located her vehicle about a mile from her apartment, parked in the lot at St. John the Evangelist Church on Union Street. He would not release details about who discovered the death or in what manner she died. The police reported the investigation around 2:40 p.m. and said the discovery was made Tuesday afternoon.
Yellow crime scene tape surrounded the two-family home and one next door to it as police walked door-to-door asking residents for information.
One neighbor who didn’t want her name used said she didn’t know Greco personally but met her a year ago when she moved to the neighborhood. The woman said Greco brought her a batch of cookies to welcome her.
The neighbor said she told police she’s thinking about moving out of the neighborhood now, but an officer told her it appeared to be an “isolated incident.”
Another neighbor across the street declined to give her name but said Greco was quiet.
“It’s sad,” the woman said.
A police investigator knocking on doors in the neighborhood said Greco was a former nun.
Greco’s sister, Carmela Diehsner, also of Schenectady, said by telephone that police told her not to give out any information, and she declined to comment further.
The investigation comes at a time when recent crime statistics show a drop in index crimes — murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault — reported to the state by the Schenectady Police Department.
The city police recorded a total of 3,109 index crimes in the year 2011. By Nov. 2, 2012, that number was at 3,007, a drop of 3.3 percent, according to data on the website of the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.
A total of two murders were reported by the Schenectady Police Department up until early November, according to DCJS.
Since 2002, there have been 73 homicides in Schenectady, with the most-deadly year in that time period being 2003, when a total of 11 homicides took place.