A simple welfare check requested by neighbors turned sinister when police found a body.
On September 15th, 1997, Walter Fedorwich who was 88 years old, was found dead in his Peru, New York home.
Jennifer Fleishman, Troop B New York State Police public information officer said, “The neighbors called because they had not seen him. He was always outside talking with neighbors and talking with people and the neighbors had just not seen him in a few days doing his normal routines.”
Fedorwich was found tied to his bed in his home located on Route 22. It is believed that Fedorwich was murdered either the night of September 13th or the early hours of September 14th.
“Troopers responded to the scene and went inside the residence they found Mr. Fedorwich deceased and an autopsy was performed later showed that Mr. Fedorwich died a result of asphyxiation and blunt force trauma to the head and then the case was ruled a homicide,” said Fleishman.
Fedorwich was known for being chatty with members of the community and even strangers.
Fleishman said, “Mr. Fedorwich was seen frequently talking with people including strangers flashing large sums of money all the time and he would make remarks to the effect of I don’t believe in banks and everything I need is at my house… All my money is at my house. There is this and plenty more.”
Although not medically diagnosed, Fedorwich appeared to have suffered from bouts of dementia. Neighbors stated that the last time they saw Fedorwich was late in the afternoon on September 13th. He was speaking with two unidentified white males at the end of his driveway. The two males were described as being dressed in biker-type apparel.
“During the days leading up to his death we had found out that he was talking with people in hopes of trying to sell some of the vehicles on his property and trying to sell his residence too possibly,” said Fleishman.
Fedorwich lived alone and had poor eyesight which led him to use taxis as a form of transportation.
“It was believed during the night that Mr. Fedorwich was killed that a large sum of money was taken from his home and something unique about that money it would smell strong of kerosene,” said Fleishman.
If you have any information regarding this case please contact New York State Police Troop B Major Crimes unit at 518-873-2750.