BROOKLYN — A 78-year-old grandmother who was found murdered in her home next to a broken hammer Monday was strangled — and not killed with the tool as investigators initially thought, the Medical Examiner said Wednesday.
Investigators hadn't made any arrests two days after Edna Pierre-Jacques was killed inside her Troy Avenue home near Avenue D, but the NYPD Chief of Detectives Bob Boyce said her husband is a suspect, NYPD officials said.
Family members last spoke with Pierre-Jacques at about 7 p.m. Monday and her body was discovered with severe head injuries about 9:53 p.m. by her daughter and granddaughter next to a hammer that had its head broken off, police officials said.
Investigators initially believed she may have been beaten with the tool, but the city's Medical Examiner determined that wasn't the cause of death, officials said.
"There was some blunt force trauma to her head but that was not the cause of death, it was strangulation," Boyce said during a press conference Wednesday. "Right now, it’s a forensic investigation, we have no eyewitnesses."
Boyce added that investigators spoke at length to her estranged husband who still lives in the house, adding there was no history of reported domestic abuse.
"Right now, he is the only one in the house, so not to [consider him a suspect] would be foolish, but again, we’re waiting for the forensics to come back to build our case," Boyce added.
Pierre-Jacques, a grandmother who had four grown children, had a strained relationship with her husband, friends said. He would regularly mock her when she tried to enjoy herself by dancing to music, they said.
"He'd call her a crazy woman, a disgraced human," said Patricia Hagely, 60, who said she spoke to her friend three times the day she died. "They weren't talking. She never talked about him. They were just living in the same house."