2 kids, 2 women found dead in New York basement, officials say

New York authorities are investigating the deaths of four people after the bodies were found in a basement apartment in Troy, a day after Christmas 2017. Credit: Nicholas Buonanno/The Record via AP

TROY, N.Y.  — Four people found slain inside a basement apartment the day after Christmas have been identified as two children, their mother and a second woman, authorities said Wednesday.

The victims were a 36-year-old woman, her 5-year-old daughter, her 11-year-old son and a 22-year-old woman who had a relationship with the mother, Troy police Chief John Tedesco said.

A property manager found the bodies Tuesday after being asked to check on the welfare of the residents of the apartment, one of five in a house located in the city’s Lansingburgh section along the Hudson River just north of Albany, police said.

The slayings weren’t a random act, Tedesco said during a news conference at City Hall. He called the killings the worst he has seen in 42 years in law enforcement but didn’t provide details.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that a person who committed this crime is capable of anything,” Tedesco said, adding that police don’t believe there was an imminent danger to the public.

The victims’ names were being withheld pending notification of relatives, he said.

Police didn’t know when the slayings occurred, but Tedesco said it was hoped autopsies being conducted Wednesday would provide investigators with clues. State police were involved in the investigation along with New York parole officials, Tedesco said.

“This will be a full-court press, if you will, until we bring someone to justice,” he said, adding that police were seeking any information the public may have about the crime.

Investigators remained at the scene Wednesday. Police cars blocked vehicles from approaching the home, which is set amid older, restored houses, and yellow crime tape was stretched across the street, running along the river’s east bank. Few people ventured out on the snow-covered sidewalks in temperatures in the teens.