Police continue to say Saturday night they have "several persons of interest" in the murder of Jennifer Katz, and that the suspect was known to the victim.
Police have reportedly identified a handyman who worked for Katz as one of the "persons of interest" in connection with the murder of the 49-year-old mother in her Mamaroneck home. CBS News reports the man was "doing some work around the house."
"We have yet to charge anyone for this crime however; we have identified several persons of interest," the statement said.
Neighbors have said Katz, who has two daughters in area public schools, was home alone while her children were with their father, who lives in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
Friends are responding with shock. "This is an awful way to ring in the New Year," said Warren Goodman, a Larchmont resident who met Katz about 10 years ago when their daughters took ballet class together.
"Jennifer touched us in many ways. Her sunny and upbeat personality was well known in Larchmont," Goodman said, adding that Katz, who worked at Larchmont Vision Care at 110 Chatsworth Avenue in Larchmont, just recently sold his wife a pair of sunglasses.
"I would bump into her at the cellphone store in Mamaroneck, at the gym, at the supermarket, and crossing Palmer Ave. In some ways, and in a manner of speaking, we live a type of ‘Six Degrees of Jennifer Katz’ — my shorthand way of saying how connected we are here — to all the above members of the community," he said.
Carolynn Dilworth, one of the owners of Auray Gourmet in Larchmont, where Katz was a regular customer, said Katz "was a wonderful, kind, funny and happy woman who loved her children dearly."
"She had an infectious smile and always a kind word," Dilworth said. "I will miss her smiling eyes and her warm spirit."
"I pray for her children who are wonderful just like their mother," she said.
Katz’ s body was found by officers who responded to a call to check on the well being of an individual at her house, at 615 Baldwin Place, according to a Village of Mamaroneck police press release. The discovery was made around 11 p.m. After a preliminary investigation, the department ruled the death a homicide.
Property records show the home is owned by Jennifer A. and Ronald W. Katz.
"I hope her murder is solved rapidly," Goodman said.
The slaying is the first homicide in Mamaroneck since 36-year-old letter carrier Stephen Spina was found dead with multiple stab wounds in his Richbell Road apartment in September 2007. Spina’s murder remains unsolved.