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2 kids — ages 5 and 11 — among 4 Troy homicide victims

2 kids — ages 5 and 11 — among 4 Troy homicide victims

Chief: 'After being in this business for almost 42 years, I can't describe the savagery of a person like this'
2 kids — ages 5 and 11 — among 4 Troy homicide victims
Troy Police Chief John Tedesco address the media during a news conference Wednesday.
Photographer: PETER R. BARBER

TROY — Troy police appealed to the public Wednesday to help find whoever killed four people, including two children, inside a Second Avenue apartment.

A 5-year-old girl and an 11-year-old boy were slain, police said, along with their mother, 36, and her partner, 22. Police did not identify the victims by name, pending final notification of family.

The four were found dead shortly before 1 p.m. Tuesday in their basement apartment at 158 Second Ave.

No arrests have been made, and Troy Police Chief John Tedesco said at an afternoon news conference that police have no suspects.

However, indications from the crime scene lead police to believe they are looking for someone who knew the family. 

"We do not believe it was a random act," Tedesco told reporters. "We do not believe there is any imminent danger to the community."

As for the slayings, Tedesco called the crime horrific.

"After being in this business for almost 42 years, I can't describe the savagery of a person like this," Tedescro said of the killer or killers.

The apartment building's property manager, alerted to check the welfare of the residents, discovered the bodies and called police, Tedesco said.

Investigators were still working to piece together basic facts Wednesday, including when exactly the four were killed.

Autopsies were underway Wednesday, and Tedesco said police were hopeful the results would shed more light on the time of the deaths and other aspects of the case. Police did not release any other information Wednesday.

The chief would not answer questions  from reporters, including whether there were signs of forced entry to the apartment or whether any weapons were discovered. 

The four are believed to have been the only people living in the basement apartment, Tedesco said.

A portion of Second Avenue near the house remained closed Wednesday, as police continued to process the scene.

"At this point in the investigation, it's just a mass of information," Tedesco said.

And police hope to talk to more. Anyone who knows anything about the incident, including any events during the week leading up to the bodies' discovery, no matter how insignificant they may think it is, should contact police, he said.

Tips can be called in to the police department directly at 518-270-4421 or anonymously online at CapitalRegionCrimeStoppers.com.

"I think if you have any empathy, any sympathy -- whatever term you want to use — we're talking about the tragic taking of four lives here, especially two children," Tedesco said in appealing for help.

Later Wednesday, Albany pastor Charlie Muller, of Victory Christian Church, offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.

Local clergy and one local coach also attended the press conference to offer assistance and support. The coach, Frank Mayben Jr., said at the press conference that he worked with the 11-year-old in basketball.

"I was the coach of that young man," Mayben said.

"I'm sorry," Tedesco responded in condolence.

"I was looking forward to being  the coach of the little girl," an emotional Mayben continued, before offering the support of the community in helping the investigation.

Pastor Jackie Robinson Sr., and his wife, Cathy Green Robinson, spoke to reporters afterward.

Pastor Robinson, of Oak Grove Missionary Baptist Church, called the deaths a heinous and unimaginable act. 

"We call upon the community to support the police effort as much as possible," he said. "The more information they get, the quicker they get it, the sooner this will be solved."

He did not know the family directly but said he's only heard good things about them. The children were nice kids — well-behaved and respectful, he said.

His wife, who knew of them more directly, said "they seemed to be very nice people — a very nice family. Minded their business, a very good mother.

"That's what's puzzling — trying to figure out what actually happened," Cathy Robinson said.

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