Police search for new leads in Hyde Park slaying

The New York State Police and the Hyde The New York State Police and the Hyde Park Police are looking for leads in the slaying of Laurie Ferguson, 67, of Hyde Park, who was found dead in her Mobile Manor home on Thanksgiving Day. Police agencies located the victim's car, a Gray 2006 Saturn Ion similar to the vehicle pictured above, late Friday. (Nov. 23, 2012) Photo Credit: NY State Police

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State Police were out in force Sunday working to catch the person who killed a Hyde Park woman whose body was found Thanksgiving Day.

"We have all of our resources out there working on it diligently," Sgt. Darren Forbes told Newsday on Sunday.

Laurie B. Ferguson, 67, was found Thursday in her home at the Hyde Park Mobile Manor trailer park on Route 9G. Police said she was stabbed to death.

On Sunday, the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Hyde Park Police and the State Police Dive Team were all searching for additional evidence and conducting interviews, according to a news release.

On Friday, police located the victim's 2006 Saturn Ion. On Saturday, State Police released a forensic sketch of a potential witness who investigators hope could lead to a break in the case.

The sketch shows a man with a full beard, thick eyebrows and a thick head of slicked-back hair. The man, police said, is about 5 feet, 10 inches tall and was accompanied by another man and a young girl who had dark hair and wore a dress.

The man was spotted about a mile and a half from the murder scene, on Reservoir Road in Staatsburg, near where Ferguson's car was found late Friday, police said. Ferguson's car had been missing, and police presume that it had been stolen by the person who killed her.

Police since have searched the car for evidence, but they would not discuss what they found.

Investigators have "no indication" of the identity of the man in the sketch. State Police Lt. Dominick Chiumento said authorities do not consider him a suspect. Their first task, he said, is to determine whether the man "was there legitimately." From there, police hope to find out whether the man knows anything about Ferguson's death.

Chiumento would not say how police developed the sketch.

Ferguson's body was found after investigated a call reporting that she hadn't kept an appointment.

"We had a 911 call from somebody who tried to check on her because she didn't show up for another engagement," Chiumento said. He refused to provide more details about the person who reported Ferguson missing.

Ferguson, who was married but estranged from her husband, lived alone in her trailer, Chiumento said. Nothing was stolen from her home. Police haven't recovered the weapon, believed to be knife, used to kill her.

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 for her.

The obituary described her as "an avid reader, a fabulous seamstress and a lover of animals." Ferguson, who was born in Hyde Park and graduated from Franklin D. Roosevelt High School, was a member of "Purl Jam," a knitting and crocheting club that meets at the Staatsburg and Tivoli libraries.

A memorial service for Ferguson is slated for 11 a.m. Dec. 3 at the Hyde Park United Methodist Church.

As investigators look to piece together the circumstances surrounding Ferguson's death, they've appealed to the public to provide clues.

Anyone with information on the slaying can call the State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation at 845-876-4049, or 845-677-7300.


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