The quiet village of Penn Yan has been shaken by a murder investigation involving an elderly couple. Authorities have reported that 89-year-old Jane Salyer was allegedly killed by her husband, Ronald Salyer, also 89, who is currently suffering from dementia and is hospitalized at Geneva General Hospital.
The police chief and a neighbor who discovered the body provided details of the tragic incident. The neighbor, Jessica Paquette, who also served as Jane Salyer’s hairstylist, went to check on her after she missed a hair appointment. Paquette, along with the couple’s home health aide, found the couple in the bathroom of their home. Ronald Salyer was found alive but in poor health, while Jane Salyer was found deceased.
Paquette recounted the shocking scene, describing the house in disarray with overturned chairs and blankets strewn on the floor. Penn Yan police suspect that Jane Salyer was strangled by her husband using a bath towel. The police chief, Thomas Dunham, stated that when they arrived at the scene, a bath towel was still around Jane Salyer’s neck and Ronald Salyer had injuries on his hands consistent with pulling on something.
According to Chief Dunham, it is believed that the couple had been on the bathroom floor for at least two days, with the last known contact with them being on August 26. Ronald Salyer, who suffers from dementia, is likely to face charges.
The police chief expressed sympathy for the family, acknowledging the unexpected tragedy. He noted that Jane Salyer was in good health and physically able, while her husband suffered from severe dementia. Paquette, still grappling with the incident, described the couple as friendly and active in their church. She remembered Jane Salyer’s love for sewing and Ronald Salyer’s passion for gardening and feeding animals, but above all, their love for their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
In a sad turn of events, Ronald Salyer, who was suspected of strangling his wife, passed away while in palliative care following his wife’s death. Jane Salyer’s body was taken to the Monroe County Medical Examiner’s Office, and the investigation into her death continues. The police have stated that there are no other persons of interest in the case.