Quadruple homicide eerily similar to 2014 murders
THE circumstances surrounding the murders of a mother, her two children and her partner in New York are eerily similar to another quadruple homicide that happened in 2014 - less than 10 miles away.
Police still haven't caught the killer in that case and appear to be just as puzzled about what went down this week in the city of Troy, the New York Post reports.
"We are certainly appealing to people in the community that would have any knowledge as to what may have transpired there to contact us as soon as possible," Police Chief James Tedesco told reporters on Wednesday.
While authorities have not disclosed how the mother, her two children and her partner were killed, the death toll and nature of the crime alone bring to mind the October 2014 slayings of the Chen family in their home in Guilderland.
Like the case in Troy, police discovered four bodies - two children and their parents - later identified as Jin Feng Chen, 39, his wife Hai Yan Li, 38, and their two sons Anthony, 10 and Eddy, 7.
"There's nothing that we're not looking at," New York State police Senior Investigator John Camp said at the time of the investigation.
"We're trying to see: Is it human trafficking? Is it money laundering? Is it gang-related? We're basically leaving no leaf unturned."
The family murdered in 2014 had been stabbed repeatedly and bludgeoned with weapons similar to hammers and knives, according to investigators.
"We all believe that the house and the people were targeted," Marcel Lajoy, a lawyer who lived and worked two houses down from where the murders occurred, told the Times Union in January 2015.
Despite hundreds of leads, authorities were never able to pin down a definite motive or suspect in the quadruple homicide case - though some believe the killings stemmed from Chen's alleged involvement in an illegal money transfer scheme and gambling operation.
The father-of-two was reportedly known to handle large amounts of black-market cash as part of the off-the-books economy that moves undocumented Chinese restaurant workers around the Albany region.
He allegedly ran a weekly card game which, according to the Times Union, had racked up an estimated $100,000 in gambling debts.
It's unclear if the victims in the Troy murder case had ties to any illegal operations in the area, but police say they are investigating that possibility.
Local church leaders have been asking people who may have information about any possible ties or connections to come forward and speak with police.
"If there is a street code, it needs to be stopped right now," Rev Charles Burkes of United Ordained Church told the Troy Record.
"Whoever is out there that knows anything, they need to stop respecting the street code and give up the information."
Multiple law enforcement sources told the Albany Times Union on Wednesday night that the victims were all bound - with their throats slashed - when cops found them.
The two children killed were described by locals as kind and loving kids.
"Killing people period is terrible, but killing children, that's unimaginable," Pastor Jackie Robinson Sr of Oak Grove Baptist Church told Spectrum News.
"That's the greatest disgrace that ever happened."