Wednesday, August 6, 2014
 

 

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Suspects in murder of elderly woman knew her grandson, police say

TOWN OF WALLKILL – Helen Mills, the 81-year-old Goshen woman who was killed in her home last Saturday morning, was the apparent victim of a burglary attempt.

Authorities Tuesday said that while she was found dead in her burned out home at 84 Green Street, she appeared to have suffered from blunt force trauma before the house was set on fire. She suffered wounds on her head and throat consistent with having been beaten and strangled, authorities said.

An accelerant was believed to have caused the blaze, said State Police Troop F Commander Major Patrick Regan. Mills’ body was found in her bedroom where some accelerants were located.

Girlfriend and boyfriend Jennifer Molyneaux, 17, of the Town of Wallkill and Devin Giordano, 19, of the Village of Goshen, have been charged with murder in the commission of the burglary.  Police linked the two suspects with Mills’ grandson, said Regan.

“We believe there was a prior relationship between the grandson of Helen Mills and the two defendants and through that relationship, the defendants believed that they could obtain money at the residence of Mills,” Regan said.

The grandson was not charged.

A warrant search of Giordano’s residence revealed proceeds of the burglary and a personal search of Molyneaux revealed signs that she had been in an altercation, police said.

The case will be presented to an Orange County grand jury.

Hoovler and Regan both praised the cooperation of the fire departments, Village of Goshen and State Police and Orange County DA, Medical Examiner and Fire Investigations Unit in solving the case as quickly as they did.