On 2nd anniversary, police making progress in Woonsocket murder case

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WOONSOCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — On the second anniversary of a Woonsocket woman’s brutal murder, police say they are making headway in their search for her killer.

Constance Gauthier, 81, was found stabbed multiple times inside her Fairfield Avenue home on March 23, 2016. So far no arrests have been made but Detective Lt. Brad Scully said the case is slowly progressing.

According to Scully, police have collected multiple DNA samples from inside the home. Those samples, he said, could be used to make composite sketches of potential suspects. Woonsocket police put more detectives on the case and said they have received several new tips.

“We’ve gotten some more information that came to light in the last few months, some more evidence that we’ve been working on,” Scully said in an interview with Eyewitness News Friday.

According to Scully, investigators believe the killer knew Gauthier, and there may have been several people involved.

“It was a personal attack, I would definitely say that,” Scully said.

Eyewitness News spoke with Gauthier’s niece, Sandy Lee Paul, over the phone Friday. She said she still wants justice for her aunt.

“There’s sadness, of course, that she had go in such a brutal way,” said Paul. “And top of that of course there’s anger and there’s a sense of, you just want answers, and there doesn’t seem to be any.”

Gauthier’s lack of close family and friends has complicated investigators’ ability to determine all of the people she associated with and therefore, who might have been responsible for her murder. Paul said her aunt had a heart of gold, and doesn’t know who would have wanted her aunt dead.

“I can’t even imagine who would want to do it, or why someone would do it,” she said.

Paul said the idea that her aunt’s killer is walking free is chilling.

“This person could be walking down the side of you in the supermarket,” she said. “They could be sitting on the side of you in church for all you know. You just don’t know, and that’s the thing, you just don’t know. That, I think, is the hardest part.”

Scully encouraged anyone who has any information on Gauthier’s murder to contact the Woonsocket Police Department (401) 766-1212.

“Anything, any information that you don’t think is important at the time, we might think it’s important,” Scully said.

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