Jeremiah Guette died in 2019 after authorities tried to talk to him. About the death of 81-year-old Willomena “Violet” Filkins, police said.
A New York school bus driver who took his own life in 2019. While authorities questioned him in the 1994 killing. An 81-year-old woman was identified Thursday as her alleged killer.
A fingerprint match and a recent tip identified Jeremiah Guette. As the alleged suspect in the death of Willomena “Violet” Filkins. Police in East Greenbush, south of Albany, said.
He was found bleeding in the living room of his apartment on Aug. 19, 1994. Guette, who served in the Air Force in Florida and also drove. A bus for the elderly, was interviewed after the killing but was never considered. A person of interest, East Greenbush police Detective Sgt. Michael Guadagnino told reporters.
An ex-girlfriend later told authorities Guette started crying. When he told her he had robbed a woman and hit her, Guadagnino said.
“This can’t be true,” the ex-girlfriend recalled telling him, according to Guadagnino. “I’m sure he’s fine.”
On October 1, 2019, when Guadagnino and a New York. State Police investigator tried to talk to Guette about the murder. He became defensive and visibly upset, Guadagnino said.
Guette refused to speak to authorities without a lawyer, Guadagnino said.
The next morning, authorities found him dead in the garage of his home in Rosendale. About 70 miles south of East Greenbush, Guadagnino said. An autopsy found that Guette took her own life, he said.
Investigators then resubmitted all the physical evidence from the original case. Including a wooden coffee table with an unknown fingerprint, Guadagnino said. Not knowing if anything would match Guette. Three years later, after Covid strained the state. Crime lab and delayed forensic investigations. The fingerprint matched Guette’s left thumb, Guadagnino said.
A tip from a family member last year confirmed Guette’s involvement. Guadagnino said: When authorities contacted Guette on Oct. 1, 2019. He called them in a panic and said he didn’t want to go to prison.
Guette told relatives that when he was younger, he planned to rob a bank and steal a car to get money for college. Family members told authorities, Guadagnino said.
“Somebody was dead but he didn’t want to talk on the phone anymore,” Guadagnino said.
The relative arranged for Guette to see a lawyer. A fact authorities confirmed with the attorney, Guadagnino said.
During the news conference, Filkins’ niece, Carol Filkins, thanked authorities and remembered. Her aunt as a normal woman who lived quietly and “never imagined something like this could happen.“
“We’re all very grateful that this has been resolved,” he said.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call 988 to reach the Suicide and Crisis Lifeline. You can also call the network, formerly. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, at 800-273-8255. Text HOME to 741741 or visit SpeakingOfSuicide.com/resources for extra resources.