PERU — State Police are still investigating a 21-year-old homicide here, according to a news release.

On Sept. 15, 1997, State Police in Plattsburgh received a request to check on the welfare of 88-year-old Walter C. Fedorwich at his home at 3634 State Route 22, in Peru, as he had not been seen by neighbors in a few days.

Troopers responded and located Fedorwich inside his residence, deceased and tied to a bed located in the front room, the release said.

An autopsy performed at the Albany Medical Center the next day found the cause of death to be traumatic asphyxia and blunt force injuries of the head and brain.

The Clinton County Coroner ruled the death a homicide and determined the death occurred between the late evening of Sept. 12 and the early morning hours of September 13, 1997.

Fedorwich was a retired construction worker that lived alone in the poorly maintained Route 22 residence, the release said. He was no longer able to drive, so he would hitchhike or use a taxi to get around. He was often seen around the area with his trademark cowboy hat and boots.

Fedorwich had relatives in the Rochester area and had traveled to that area in the time preceding his death. During that trip, he had spoken of carrying a large sum of money and may have had a portion of that money stolen.

Although not diagnosed, the release said, Fedorwich appeared to suffer from bouts of dementia, and he would flash large sums of money to strangers stating that he did not believe in banks and had more money at home if he needed it. The cash that he possessed always reeked of kerosene.

The large sum of money was not located over the course of the homicide investigation.

One of the last reported sightings of Fedorwich occurred in the days prior to his death when he was observed at the end of his driveway speaking to two white males who have not been identified.

One was described as having a beard and dressed in biker type apparel while the other was described as being heavy set, also dressed in biker type apparel.

They appeared to have been operating a dark colored vehicle, the release said.

Fedorwich was last seen alive on the afternoon of Sept. 13, 1997.

A black dog hair was also found on the person of Fedorwich. He did not have a dog and it is possible the hair was transferred from the suspect's clothing.

Anyone with information about Fedorwich should contact the Troop B Major Crimes Unit at 518-873-2750.


Police still seeking answers from '97 homicide

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