BY HOWARD THOMPSON AND SALINA LEWIS
ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – “It’s very hard to deal with and understand how someone could do that to a lady who was 101 years old,”
The murder of a 101-year-old woman in Rochester has left family and friends struggling to come to grips with the loss.
The body of Marcia Morrison was found Tuesday inside her apartment on Green Knolls Drive off Westfall Road on Rochester’s south side. Senior center workers called 911 Tuesday morning when Morrison didn’t answer the door when they arrived for her weekly pick-up.
Workers may have feared Morrison had passed away, but few could have expected the scene firefighters and police would find inside the apartment.
According to court documents, Morrison had been stabbed multiple times in the upper body, throat and neck. The discovery prompted a large police investigation by Rochester police’s Major Crimes Unit. Crews worked throughout the afternoon. Hours later, police announced a suspect had been arrested.
Gregory Jesmer, a neighbor to Morrison, has been charged with murder in the case. He also faces charges for a separate incident where police say he tried to lure a 13-year-old girl back to his apartment.
For the murder, prosecutors nor police could provide a motive. “I cannot comment on any previous relationship,” said Monroe County Assistant District Attorney Monica O’Brien. “They are not related and they did live in the same geographical area.”
When asked if it could have been a robbery or related to a prior dispute, O’Brien added, “Nothing that we know of as far as previous argument or theft or anything that led to this as far as their relationship or interaction.”
“Really our most vulnerable population here,” continued O’Brien. “This was a woman who was still active in the community at 101-years-old, still trying to help other people, so absolutely we’ll do everything we can to seek justice on her behalf.”
For her family, Morrison’s murder is incomprehensible. “From a family perspective it’s very hard to deal with,” Morrison’s nephew Michael Aikens told News 8.
Aikens tells us Morrison was still very active, vibrant and well-loved. Standing outside of court Wednesday, he told us when he heard what happened, he couldn’t believe it. “I was very shocked, hurt. At 101, I think she deserved to go peacefully in her sleep and knowing her she was a very giving person and was willing to give anyone what she could.”
According to court papers, Jesmer made “admissions” to police about the crime after waiving his Miranda Rights.
Sandra Fields, another neighbor to both Morrison and Jesmer, suspected something was off about the suspect. “My daughter caught him a couple times — I have a thirteen-year-old — and she caught him peering out the window at the kids getting on the school buses. She addressed him and he said it’s because he missed putting his kids on the bus and that’s why he was doing that.”
Jesmer is also charged with endangering the welfare for a child for an incident where prosecutors say he followed another 13-year-old girl off the bus. In court papers, police say Jesmer followed the child even after she told him to leave her alone and didn’t leave until an adult intervened.
Jesmer pleaded not guilty at arraignment Wednesday morning. He is being held in Monroe County Jail.