WESTVILLE - Unfortunately its becoming the same update year after year after year, said New York State Police Senior Investigator Kurt Taylor. If you asked me 11 years ago whether or not Id be standing up here in 2013 telling you we still hadnt made an arrest, I wouldnt have believed it. Unfortunately, here I am.
More than 30 people gathered at the Westville Fire Station on Wednesday for the annual Neighborhood Watch meeting and update on the now 11-year-old murder of Marie Fleury. Among the crowd were Herb and Ken Healey, Maries brothers, whose only updates over the years have come from the annual meetings.
Mr. Taylors update was brief. He stressed that Maries murder isnt a cold case. But there was 'nothing substantial' to report.
They dont give you a lot to be happy about, but on the other hand, you know that its not on the back burner, Herb Healey said after the meeting. Im sure on a daily basis its there. It always will be. Whether you like it or not, its there every morning when you wake up. Time doesnt make it any easier.
The reward for information that leads to the capture of Maries killer is still set around $16,000. The numbers for tips are 518-483-5000 or 518-897-2000.
Senior Investigator Taylor, Malone Village Police Chief Chris Premo and Franklin County Sheriff Kevin Mulverhill also spoke about crime and safety in the Westville area. They stressed a prescription drug problem is the only reason meth hasnt formed a firm grip on Franklin County.
Mr. Taylor described a heroin problem in the area that will be hard to get rid of.
Westville is a small community, but Im here to tell you that big problems, if theyre not here now they are coming, said Mr. Mulverhill. Marie Fleury changed the way we think here in Westville. We lock our doors now, or at least we think about locking our doors. And its opened our eyes. Marie didnt die in vain. This group shows that.
Mr. Taylor agreed that problems were coming, citing issues in surrounding counties and saying there isnt a force field protecting Franklin County in some special way.
Community members were encouraged to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior and reach out to state and village police if they see something. The police cant have eyes everywhere, officials said.
Tips are the key to any type of crime, even older cases like Maries. Mr. Taylor said that since last October the state police have followed 15-20 new leads based on caller information.
Someday, somewhere, they will come up with the lead that will count, Herb Healy said of his sisters case. I hope, I hope, I hope.