September 30 – Woman, 85, found dead after search
State police said a woman was found dead after a search in the Andes on Thursday, September 29.
According to a media report, troopers in Margaretville were called just before 7 p.m. saying that an 85-year-old woman with dementia had left her home on foot several hours earlier and could not be found.
An organized search was launched to search the area off Wolf Hollow Road in the city of Andes. Troopers and State Police K9 units were assisted by State Forest Rangers and Delhi Village Police. A Delhi Village Police K9 unit found the woman’s body about a mile from the home. There is no evidence of malicious intent, the release said.
Police have not released the woman’s identity.
Otego man charged with burglary, arson
State police said a man from Otego was arrested and charged with burglary and arson.
According to a press release, troopers from Richfield Springs Barracks responded on Sept. 26 to a report of a suspicious person in the Pleasant Valley Road area of the city of Hartwick. While exploring the area, they heard smoke detectors go off and saw smoke coming from a home on Bunn Hill Road.
The troopers called for help from firefighters and entered the house to check if anyone inside needed help, the release said. The troopers found an active fire at a gas stove in the kitchen, but were unable to turn the stove off because the knobs were damaged by the fire. The troopers were able to extinguish the flames by sealing the propane tanks outside. The officers discovered that the house was unoccupied at the time of the fire, the release said. Members of the Hartwick Fire Department and Otsego County emergency services assisted at the site of the blaze.
While at the scene of the fire, troopers responded to another report of a suspicious person near the Hartwick Restaurant on State Highway 205 in the town of Hartwick, where they found Gerard D. Bourgeois, 27, the release said. . An investigation revealed that Bourgeois broke into the house on Bunn Hill Road and deliberately set fire to it.
Bourgeois was arrested and charged with second-degree burglary and second-degree arson, both Class C felonies, the release said.
He was admitted to Richfield Springs Barracks and brought before the Otsego County Centralized Arraignment. He was remanded to the Otsego County Jail in lieu of $5,000 cash bail or $10,000 bail. His next court date was scheduled for October 12, the release said.