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One year later, few answers in Guilderland slayings

One year later, few answers in Guilderland slayings

Why would anyone murder a family of four, among them two children?
One year later, few answers in Guilderland slayings
Albany County District Attorney David Soares reminds the public of the ongoing investigation into a quadruple homicide in Guilderland the year before. The press conference was held at the Guilderland Police Department on Tuesday.
Photographer: Patrick Dodson

Why would anyone murder a family of four, among them two children?

That’s a question police are still working to answer in the October 2014 killings of the Chen family at their Western Avenue home.

“Someone has that answer,” Albany County District Attorney David Soares said at a news conference Tuesday marking the upcoming one-year anniversary of the homicides. “Someone has that answer, and the problem is that someone hasn’t come forward.”

Guilderland police, state police and the Albany County District Attorney’s Office on Tuesday again appealed to the public to help them solve the brutal killings of the Chen family.

Anyone with information is asked to call the police hotline at 1-800-GIVE-TIP.

Police found the entire family, Jin Feng Chen, 39, Hai Yan Li, 38, and their two boys, Anthony Chen, 10, and Eddy Chen, 7, murdered in their 1846 Western Ave. home Oct. 8, 2014.

Police believe the killer or killers committed the crime sometime between 3:30 and 6:30 a.m. Police confirmed Tuesday that the family was killed by weapons similar to hammers and knives.

Beyond those details, the information quickly grows murky, police said. Soares called it “one of the most complicated set of circumstances that we’ve ever experienced in an investigation.”

Among the initial obstacles, Soares said, have been fear and culture. Many of the potential witnesses also speak a particular dialect of Mandarin.

“That’s the easy side of the investigation,” Soares said, “trying to overcome those hurdles.”

Authorities continue to use state police troopers fluent in that dialect, as well as FBI and Homeland Security officers. Police distributed specially designed leaflets in New York City’s Chinatown and other areas. They’ve also examined similar cases elsewhere.

The Chens had family in New York City. Chen’s brother there early on offered a $5,000 reward for information about the slayings, according to media reports.

Soares, along with state police and Guilderland police, said they will continue working to turn up leads.

“You can never give up on the possibility of solving a case, however frustrating it may be along the way,” Soares said.

Reach Gazette reporter Steven Cook at 395-3122, [email protected] or @ByStevenCook on Twitter.

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