CARS HOMES JOBS

Schenectady police seeking witness in death of former nun

January 4, 2013
Updated 8:54 p.m.
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— City police investigating the killing of 82-year-old Mary Greco are looking for help locating a man who was shoveling snow in the area in the days leading up to the discovery of her body.

Police stressed that the man is not a suspect and that detectives only wish to interview him about possible contact with Greco and others in the neighborhood.

The call for help comes as Greco, a former nun who later worked for the state, is to be laid to rest. A Mass of Christian burial is scheduled for 10 a.m. today at St. Luke’s Church on State Street.

The man police are hoping to speak with was seen shoveling snow in the area of Greco’s apartment on Stanford Street after snowstorms Dec. 27 and 29. Greco’s body was found in her apartment at 1402 Stanford St. on New Year’s Day.

The individual is described as a black male, between his 20s and early 40s, between 5 feet, 9 inches and 6 feet, 2 inches tall, with a slim build. He wore dark clothing with a dark parka and hoodie.

The man was recalled by neighbors as police canvassed the area, police spokesman Lt. Mark McCracken said. Police have been working to retrace Greco’s steps in the days and weeks leading to her death.

“He seemed to stand out in people’s minds as being in the area,” McCracken said of the man police are hoping to speak with. “We want to interview him to find out what, if anything, that he saw.”

Anyone with information about the man or Greco’s death is asked to contact the Detective Division TIPS line at 788-6566.

Police reported little other information on the investigation Friday.

Greco’s body was found by her landlord inside her apartment New Year’s afternoon. An autopsy was performed Wednesday, but McCracken declined to comment on the cause of death or whether investigators have pinpointed a time of death.

Her death, however, has been ruled a homicide, with Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney citing the condition of the body.

Another part of the investigation centers around Greco’s car. After discovering Greco’s body, the landlord also reported her car missing. Police quickly got the vehicle’s description out to officers, and within a half-hour, one spotted a car that matched the description in the parking lot of St. John the Evangelist Church on Union Street, about a mile from Greco’s home. Upon a closer look, the car turned out to be Greco’s, McCracken said.

Greco has been described by neighbors as a kind and quiet woman, as well as deeply spiritual. Family members shed more light on her past, including her time as a nun, in her obituary, published Friday.

According to her obituary, Greco was born and raised in Schenectady. She entered the missionary community of the Daughters of Mary, Health of the Sick, in 1956 and stayed with them until 1972, when the community disbanded.

She also did missionary work around that time in the Guatemalan Highlands. Greco later returned to Guatemala, those who knew her said, going on a half-dozen trips as part of a program that sponsors children and the aging in that country.

After her community disbanded, Greco returned to Schenectady and went to work for the state, according to her obituary. She worked in various civil service offices for a quarter-century, retiring in 1996.

In lieu of flowers, family members ask that contributions be made in her memory to Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers, P.O. Box 306, Maryknoll, NY 10545.

 
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