Neighbor arrested in Hyde Park woman's slaying

Justin Curran, 36, of Mobile Manor trailer park

Justin Curran, 36, of Mobile Manor trailer park in Staatsburg, was arrested in Tampa, Fla., Tuesday night in the stabbing death of fellow Mobile Manor resident Laurie B. Ferguson, 67, State Police said. (Credit: New York State Police)

A neighbor of a Hyde Park woman found slain in her home on Thanksgiving Day has been charged with killing her, police said Wednesday.

Justin Curran, 36, of Mobile Manor trailer park in Staatsburg, was arrested at an apartment in Tampa, Fla., late Tuesday night on a second-degree murder charge in the stabbing death of fellow Mobile Manor resident Laurie B. Ferguson, 67, State Police Lt. Dominick Chiumento said Wednesday.

Ferguson was killed sometime from the night of Nov. 21 to Nov. 22, police said.


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State Police found Curran Tuesday in Tampa with the assistance of U.S. marshals and local Florida agencies, police said. He was questioned and arrested and was to be arraigned Wednesday in Florida before extradition proceedings to New York.

Curran had been in Florida "a week or less" when found, Chiumento said. He has ties to Florida, but Chiumento would not say what they are, nor would he discuss how police tracked Curran to Tampa.

Curran, an unemployed former sheet metal worker, lived "about 100 to 150" feet from Ferguson in the trailer park, Chiumento said. He had lived in one trailer at the park with family members and then at another with friends, said Chiumento, who wasn't sure which group he had lived with first.

It was unclear whether Curran and Ferguson knew each other, he said.

Curran's Facebook page says he went to Pine Plains Central Schools and is in a relationship. He describes himself as "a proud father of 4 girls."

Chiumento had no comment on a motive for the killing or whether the weapon used in the slaying had been recovered.

Ferguson's body was found Nov. 22 after a relative called asking police to check on her because she didn't show up at an "engagement," authorities said.

Ferguson, who was estranged from her husband, lived alone in her trailer. Nothing was stolen from her home, according to police.

Authorities recovered her car, a gray 2006 Saturn Ion, on Nov. 23 on Reservoir Road in Staatsburg. Police believe her killer stole the car.

Divers searched the Staatsburg Reservoir in search of clues in the days following the killing, but came up empty.

An interview with a "person of interest" who was spotted on Reservoir Road shortly after the killing turned up no leads, police said.

Ferguson has relatives in the area, including a son, daughter and grandchildren. She was a former food service worker at Haviland Junior High School in the Hyde Park Central School District, according to an obituary.

State Police at Rhinebeck said the investigation remains active and ask anyone with information about the homicide, the victim or Curran to call them at 845-876-4049 or 845-677-7300.

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