Oldest murder victim in New York history: Mother, 100, shot dead as police question daughter, 76

A woman of 76 has been named as the prime suspect in the murder of her 100-year-old mother.

Jessie Burke's body was found in the million-dollar home she shared with her daughter, Jean, on New York's Long Island.

She had been shot once in the head. Mrs Burke, who turned 100 last month, is believed to be the city's oldest murder victim.

Her daughter, a retired police officer, has been arrested and released. A police source said: 'There were no signs of a break-in and nothing was missing from the house.'

Long Island

The murder of 100-year-old Jessie Burke has rocked the community of Long Island

Jean Burke told police she last saw her mother alive about midday on Saturday as she left the house to go shopping.

When she returned home about an hour later, she found her mother dead in her reclining chair.

Police confirmed they had ruled out suicide and said it appeared as though the shot had not been fired from outside the house in the village of North Haven.

Jean Burke, a retired parole officer who ran for mayor of the nearby ritzy resort of Sag Harbor in the 1990s, has been released.

A source close to the investigation said she remains the focus of the probe.

Suffolk Police Lt Jack Fitzpatrick said: 'A 100-year-old woman being shot is unique.'

He said there were no signs of a break-in and nothing was missing from the house.

Jean Burke's lawyer, Colin Astarita, said she was 'absolutely distraught' and added: 'The family is completely shocked and trying to aid Suffolk County Police in every possible way.'    

He said Jessie Burke was 'spry' and 'mentally nimble', prepared her own meals and did a crossword every day.

Police were planning to go through financial records in search of a murder.

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