PALERMO, NY – In the week and a half since 11-year-old Erin MaxwellÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s death, police continue to investigate her death as a homicide. Still tight-lipped on details, police are not revealing any more than they did a week ago.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThere are no updates,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â state police Sergeant Ed Croucher said Monday.
Captain Mark Lincoln of New York State Police Troop DÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Bureau of Criminal Investigations briefly discussed MaxwellÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s death this past Tuesday outside of the state policeÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Fulton barracks.
Maxwell died Aug. 29 at University Hospital after emergency workers were called to her home at 1678 state Route 264. The original 911 call came in as a suicide. Lincoln pointed out that within two hours, police were not comfortable with the circumstances surrounding the childÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s death.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œWe are investigating this as a homicide,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Lincoln said.
Maxwell lived at the home with her biological father, Lindsey Maxwell; her step mother, Lynn Maxwell; and her step brother, 27-year-old Alan Jones. As part of the investigation, police were also working to locate the childÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s biological mother.
Lincoln would not say who made the original 911 call or who was home with the child at the time the call was placed. He also declined to say whether police have identified any suspect(s) in the case but said family members and neighbors have been interviewed as part of the investigation.
The findings of an autopsy that was conducted by the Onondaga County Medical ExaminerÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Office have not been released.
Lincoln did say, however, that police are not seeking an intruder in the case and stressed that there is no threat in the Palermo community.
The Oswego County Animal Welfare League – SPCA rescued more than 70 cats from the Maxwell home, according to SPCA spokesperson Hilary McIntyre. She noted that the conditions in the house were such that there were many places where a cat could hide. Because of inbreeding, most of the cats are black.
Other animals taken from the home include a dog, a snake and an emu, which was kept in a small stall in a barn on the property. The barn also housed geese, roosters, chickens and a pig.
McIntyre noted that the agency is in dire need of cat litter and food. Those interested in making donations or serving as a foster home for any of the animals can call 342-3050 and leave a message.
Steve Yablonski contributed to this report.