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Sheriff's Office: Fort Ann woman found murdered, family members arrested

Sheriff's Office: Fort Ann woman found murdered, family members arrested (WRGB)

FORT ANN, NY (WRGB)---"She just didn't deserve to die that way, she was so sweet," said Irma Hanblin.

Hanblin, who own Grumbellies restaurant with her husband say 95-year-old Leona Twiss came in every Thursday for open mic night.

"Every time she came in we would dance together, she would dance with my husband she would dance with a lot of the customers, they just adored her," said Hanblin.

Police say Twiss was found dead in her Fort Ann home Sunday.

"This went from a potential unattended death to a suspected homicide very quickly," said Washington County District Attorney Tony Jordan.

Investigators say they were called to the scene for a natural death - but after some observation, they called for an autopsy.

"As a result of the autopsy, the findings were that Mrs. Twiss died as a result of strangulation," said Saratoga County Sheriff Jeffrey Murphy.

Police arrested 50-year old Kevin Gonyea who is Twiss' grandson, and his wife 35-year-old Melissa Gonyea.



Kevin Gonyea is charged with second degree murder, and his wife is charged with tampering with evidence.

Officials say a motive isn't known yet, but it's clear the two moved there to care for the elderly victim.

"It's just a sad case when the two people who are in charge of the victim are causing the death," said Sheriff Murphy.

Hanblin says she hopes for justice for her friend.

"If that's indeed what happened, she didn't deserve to be treated that way, she was a kind and wonderful woman," she said.

The owners tell us the Gonyeas were actually at an open mic night last night in honor of Leona Twiss, before officials tell us they arrested the two.

They're currently being held at the Washington County Jail.

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