by Lenn Almadin Thornhill, ABS-CBN News
WEST HARRISON, NY — A twist to a story of a 75-year old Filipina grandmother, who was found dead in her Putnam County home last week.
Authorities are now saying that Perla Gatchalian may have been killed over money — by her daughter’s father-in-law, 69-year-old Filippo Buffone.
On Tuesday, police found Buffone dead in his car in West Harrison, with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
“Although we had identified him as a suspect within 24 hours of this crime, Filippo Buffone shot and killed himself on the parking lot off Park Avenue near his residence in Harrison,” said Michael Cazzari, Carmel police chief.
Investigators believe Buffone killed Gatchalian, and his motive was rooted in anger over financial issues. They say there is no indication that anyone else was involved in the crime.
Gatchalian was found dead in her Mahopac home by a neighbor on April 27. The medical examiner ruled her death was a homicide.
Neighbors say they are shocked that something like this happened here, let alone with the Buffone family.
Meanwhile, state and local police continue their investigation to figure out what really happened here and in Mahopac.
ABS-CBN News spoke to some shaken neighbors, who declined an on-camera interview. They say they’re shocked because the Buffones seemed like a nice family.
However, one neighbor reported seeing Filippo Buffone pacing back and forth on Monday night.
Meanwhile, police say their search of a wooded area in Yorktown led them to what they believe was the weapon used for the murder of Gatchalian.
Gatchalian, who lived 40 minutes away from Buffone, reportedly helped care for her three grandchildren, who called her Lola.