MAHOPAC, NY — A 75-year old Filipina Lola was found dead in her Coventry Circle home last Thursday afternoon, and authorities are calling it suspicious.
Police say they are looking into the death of Perla Gatchalian as an apparent homicide. Her lifeless body was found after a neighbor went to check on her.
“We’re not gonna get into details of the investigation. We don’t want to jeopardize that, but we are ruling it as a homicide,” said Michael Cazzari, police chief of Carmel, NY. “We are waiting for the autopsy to determine what was the cause of death.”
Police have confirmed that their investigation has taken them to another side of town — in West Harrison, where they followed up on leads.
Mahopac schools superintendent Dennis Creedon sent an email to parents and school staff — saying Gatchalian lived on Coventry Circle with her family, the Buffones, and helped care for her three grandchildren, who called her “Lola.”
The email did not specify whether they attended local schools, but asked people to keep the Buffone family in their thoughts and prayers.
Police have reportedly searched one of the homes owned by Fillipo and Maria Buffone, and towed away a car.
Yesterday, police say their probe has led them to West Harrison, NY — about 40 minutes away from Mahopac — where another Buffone family lives.
It is not clear, however, how the Buffones in West Harrison are related to the Buffones in Mahopac. So far, no arrest has been made.
Meanwhile, the NY state police, the Putnam County sheriff’s office and the Putnam district attorney’s office are assisting the Carmel and West Harrison police in the investigation.
Anyone with information about this case is asked to detectives at (845) 628-1300. Police say all calls will remains confidential.