Local residents react to homicide in Carroll

In the town of Carroll, where residents claim that they seldom worry about locking their front doors, a double homicide has left citizens in shock.

Early Wednesday morning, the bodies of Gordon and Joyce Skinner were discovered in their home on Wheeler Hill Road after firefighters were dispatched to the residence.

“It’s hard to even comprehend it, honestly,” said Dan Walter, an employee at the Corner Coffeehouse and Bistro in Frewsburg and relative of the family. “You don’t expect something like this in Frewsburg. New York City maybe, but not here. I’ve lived in the same place for 15 years, and I’ve never thought I had to worry about something like this. Gordy and Joyce were the most white-bread people I can think of, too. You couldn’t ask for a more average, middle-class family than those two. It’s just sad.”

Walter said several other family members also live on Wheeler Hill Road, stating that it is a close-knit family that spends a lot of time with each other.

“It’s a terrible tragedy, but I believe that the community came together in the way that it needs to, and in the end I think things are going to work out good,” said Jack Jones, Carroll town supervisor. “This is a terrible thing to happen in any community, though. They were good people and good neighbors. I live right there – nobody wants to see this happen in their neighborhood, but we’re a strong community, and I think we’ll be stronger in spite of this. I was very happy, astonished, really, that all of the law enforcement agencies were working so well together. It’s good for our county and our community that everyone can work together like this in a time of tragedy.”

A waitress at the Dinner Bell restaurant in Frewsburg said people she knew in the community were “just heartbroken,” and that the Skinners were “caring, tender and hardworking people.”

A press conference was held in Mayville on Thursday afternoon, where law enforcement officials announced the arrest of four Elmira residents in connection to the homicides. Timothy Wright, Carroll police chief, was on hand at the press conference as well.

“The community, as with any major incident that takes place, is extremely scared,” said Wright. “Rest assured, the law enforcement agencies across the county and the state are doing everything to support a resolution to these crimes that took place.”

“Having four people in custody at this point should add to (the community’s) clarity and their calmness over time,” Wright continued. “What I would encourage is anybody in the town of Carroll or the rest of the county as whole or the state that might have seen these (suspects), please contact the local agency closest to you.”