MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Mount Vernon residents remained shocked on Friday over the news that popular neighbor Emma Gruber was found dead in her basement on Wednesday following a suspected burglary.
Police were alerted that Gruber was missing on Tuesday after her grandson couldn’t find her in the upper floors of her home, where she lived alone. When police investigated the matter when she still didn’t reappear on Wednesday, she was found in her basement, allegedly the victim of a homicide.
According to police, Gruber may have been dead for a day before her body was discovered. The official cause of her death has not yet been determined by the medical examiner, though copper wiring and a water meter was removed from the house.
“It’s just so sad. We’d see her all over the city. A lot of people knew her,” Dori Martin said at the Doles Community Center, where Gruber often frequented. “It’s a shame. It’s always something these days.”
Police believe that Gruber may have walked in on the burglary, or may have been home during the burglary and became the victim when she went to investigate the noise.
“She was 80-something years old, where do you draw the line,” Tara Griffith, a nearby neighbor, questioned. “Nothing is worth life in prison, and that’s what these monsters will get when they’re caught.”
The Mount Vernon Police Department’s Major Case Unit is investigating the case. Anyone with information regarding the suspected homicide can call detectives at (914) 665-2510.