State Police can cross off one major lead from their investigation into the slaying of a Hyde Park woman.
A "person of interest" who was spotted on Reservoir Road, near the Mobile Manor Trailer Park where victim Laurie B. Ferguson lived, is not connected to the crime, State Police said Wednesday. Troopers released a forensic sketch of the man Saturday, saying the man could have information about the 67-year-old grandmother, who was found dead with multiple stab wounds on Thanksgiving Day.
Investigators were able to locate the man and interviewed him but said Wednesday they had "determined he is uninvolved in the case."
In the meantime, investigators repeated earlier appeals to the public for information that could help them solve Ferguson's slaying. The investigation began when a relative called cops to check on Ferguson after she didn't show up to what State Police Lt. Dominick Chiumento said was "another engagement." Police have not provided additional details, saying they don't want to tip their hand to suspects who may be monitoring local media.
Also on Wednesday, New York State Crime Stoppers announced a $2,500 reward for information leading to the capture of the killer.
Authorities asked anyone who frequents the area of Reservoir Road in Staatsburg, where Ferguson's 2006 gray Saturn Ion was found Friday, to call them at 845-876-4033 or 845-876-4049. Police believe the killer stole her car.
Police also repeated a request to residents and businesses for surveillance video taken by cameras facing area roadways that might yield clues in the investigation.
The areas of interest are:
• Mobile Manor park.
• Route 9G between South Cross Road and North Cross Road.
• Route 9 between South Cross and North Cross.
• South Cross Road.
• North Cross Road.
• Reservoir Road.
Ferguson, who was estranged from her husband, lived alone in her trailer. Nothing was stolen from her home, 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. A memorial service for Ferguson is slated for 11 a.m. Saturday at the Hyde Park United Methodist Church.
Crime Stoppers can be reached at 866-313-TIPS (8477) or by downloading the group's mobile app through its website at www.nyscrimestoppers.org.