Cops Suspect Disabled Long Island Man Was Brutally Murdered By Own Mother; Mom Lived With Body For Days
Gabriel Philby-Zetsche's body was found beaten with a hammer and stabbed repeatedly. His own mother is suspected in the brutal murder, and of living in the home the two shared with his dead body for about five days.
A 22-year-old Long Island man with cerebral palsy was brutally murdered last week, and now his own mother is charged in his death.
And here's where things get a little weird/reverse-"Psycho"-y: cops say that after 52-year-old Tracy Zetsche beat her son with a hammer and stabbed him to death, she lived with his dead body in her house for about five days.
The body of Gabriel Philby-Zetsche was found in the Westerlo home owned by his mother on Monday morning after his aunt -- who lives down the street -- stopped by to check on Zetsche, who she saw sitting on the porch wrapped in a blanket, looking "distraught," the Albany County Sheriff's Office says.
The aunt, who is not identified, then entered the home, where she found the body.
Philby-Zetsche had been stabbed repeatedly in the heart. He also suffered blunt-force trauma to the head, which authorities say is the result of his mother bashing him in the skull with a hammer.
"This was an extremely violent attack," Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said at a press conference yesterday.
Zetsche and her son moved from Commack, Long Island, to Westerlo -- just South of Albany -- in October.
According to local media reports, the mother and son were close, and had a good relationship, which makes the brutal murder even more bizarre.
From the Albany Times Union:
Philby-Zetsche's right arm was deformed and he sometimes suffered minor seizures and may have had a minor case of cerebral palsy, but he lived a normal life and was very close with his mother, Apple said. He often joined his mother at a cleaning job she held, he said.
"They seemed like they were a pair," said Peter Rufa, who co-owns the building they both lived in. "They were real close. She never went anywhere without him."
The Philby family released the following statement about the bizarre murder:
"As you can imagine, the death of my nephew Gabe and the injuries to my sister Tracy have turned our world upside-down. Nothing can prepare anyone for the shock our family has received. My sister and nephew mean the world to me and my family.
"At this moment, sheriff's investigators are still trying to determine exactly what occurred. I believe it is best to let law enforcement professionals do their jobs and not comment further. On behalf of the entire Philby family, we thank you for respecting our privacy at this very painful time."
Zetsche was booked into jail on one count of second-degree murder.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.
- Here Are Ten (Or So) Graphic Novels to Watch Out For at NYCC
- The Man Behind 'Modern Seinfeld,' Focuses on His Own Neuroses in New Book
- NYU Student Employees Say the University Hasn't Paid Them in Months