Suffolk County Homicide Detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of an elderly Terry Drive, Sag Harbor woman who was found dead in her house on Friday afternoon, December 5. Reports indicate she could have been dead in the house for several months, but police say there is no evidence of criminal activity.
The woman, Carmen Evans, 92, was a familiar site in Sag Harbor, pushing a wire cart up Route 114 into the village and back, occasionally offering an obscene salute to passing motorists.
It is unclear how long she had been deceased before her body was found, but neighbors say they hadn’t seen the woman out of her house in months.
“I thought she’d live forever, she got so much exercise walking into town,” said Terry Sullivan, a neighbor in the Azurest community.
“I saw her frequently, but hadn’t seen her in about two years,” said Sullivan, who noted Evans would occasionally make odd signs at him and his wife when they passed walking. “It was like voodoo.”
“I hadn’t seen her since last summer,” said Terry Drive neighbor Mercedes Broderick. It wasn’t long after that others in the neighborhood noticed Ms. Evans’ absence, she said.
After neighbors had expressed concern, Sag Harbor Village Police forced their way in to the house about 3:15 in the afternoon Friday, said Suffolk County Homicide Lt. Det. Jack Fitzpatrick.
On Saturday, yellow police tape remained winding through the woods adjacent to the house, and on the front door was posted a notice from the Village of Sag Harbor warning that the premises were not suitable for human habitation. Lt. Fitzpatrick described the house as being “poorly maintained.”
In addition to her lifeless body, which was found in the bathroom “in an advanced state of decomposition”, the police also discovered the remains of a small fire, which had extinguished itself.
The fire did not appear to be set, and could have been electrical, said Fitzpatrick, but said he would not know until a report from the county’s arson squad was complete.
Likewise, the cause of death could not be determined until a report from the Suffolk County Medical Examiner.
Ms. Evans had lived in the neighborhood for about seven years, according to neighbors.
“There was some speculation that her daughter had taken her to live with her,” said Broderick. “Apparently not.”
The investigation is ongoing.
Â Above, the house on Terry Drive where police discovered the body of Carmen Evans.