NEW YORK(CBSNewYork) -- A killer is at large in Rockland County.
Police have declared the death of a popular widow and grandmother a homicide, CBS 2's Lou Young reported. The killing took place in the victim's home over the weekend.
There is still no suspect in the Valley Cottage murder. On Monday, detectives went over the snow covered yards surrounding the crime scene looking for anything that might indicate who fatally stabbed Peggy Nadell and why.
The young looking 81-year-old lived alone. Her body was discovered on Saturday by her grown daughter who had become worried. The murder left neighbors shaken.
"It's scary. It's scary because you don't know what lunatic is out there," Ralph Reverson said, "Could it strike me?"
There were no obvious signs of forced entry and the scene was ambiguous enough for detectives to initially consider the possibility of a freak accident. The medical examiner found evidence of additional traumatic injury and the case was labeled a homicide.
"We were keeping hope, probably against hope, that it was a terrible accident because we can't imagine anyone wanting to hurt Peggy," Nadell's friend, Kristen Scovisky said.
The victim was well known in the halls of local government buildings where many people referred to her as a Democratic party activist with a big heart. The police chief personally notified top town officials of the crime.
"When I was told it was her by the chief it just made no sense," Clarkstown Supervisor, Alexander Gromack said.
"I hope they bring this person to justice because this is a terrible crime," Clarkstown Clerk, John Sweet said, "Peggy was a wonderful person."
Police were still waiting for final autopsy results on Monday, as Nadell's family began to make funeral preparations.
Nadell retired from IBM 20-years-ago but remained active and exercised every day. People who knew her for years were shocked to learn of her real age.
You May Also Be Interested In These Stories
for more features.