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A man who killed himself shortly after he was interviewed over the murder of a woman in New York, has been identified as the killer, nearly 30 years after the crime was committed, the NBC News reports.
The body of Wilomeana “Violet” Filkins was found in East Greenbush, New York on August 19, 1994 where she lived alone. According to a TV news report, the 81-year-old woman was killed in a robbery organized by Jeremiah Guyette, a local school bus driver.
East Greenbush Police Detective Sgt. Michael Guadagnino told newsmen during a press conference Thursday that Guyette, who served in the Air Force was interrogated earlier but never considered as the perpetrator of the crime.
But Guyette was positively identified by the police as the murderer through fingerprints and a recent tip in the decades-old case, the NBC reports.
Citing Guadagnino’s press conference, the NBC reports that his former girlfriend informed the police that Guyette shed tears while confessing to his crime of robbing and hitting a woman.
Speaking further, Guadagnino said on October 1, 2019, authorities went to question Guyette about the killing, but he became visibly upset and declined to speak without a lawyer, reports NBC.
Guadagnino said a family member told police Guyette called her that same day and expressed fears of going to prison. “Someone had died but he didn’t want to talk anymore over the phone”, according to the news outlet.
Guyette was found dead the next day in his Rosendale, N.Y., garage, in what police described as a suicide.
The authorities were prompted by Guyette’s sudden death, to resubmit evidence which included a coffee table with the fingerprints of an unidentified person found at the scene of the crime, reports the outlet.
The fingerprint turned out to be a match to Guyette’s, three years later, due to a crime lab backlog caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to NBC, Filkins’ niece Carole Filkins told newsmen that though the family “never would have envisioned anything like this happening”, they are however grateful it has been resolved.
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