Family honors Katie's life as police investigate her murder
Auburn (WSYR-TV) - Just an hour after Auburn Police announced Thursday they'd reclassified Katie Socci's death as a homicide, the woman's family gathered together in mourning at a local church.
A church located just one block from Katie Socci's home was filled with songs and prayers Thursday evening. In the pews of the First Presbyterian Church, the gathered crowd was bonded by the memory of a woman whose life was cut short.
"She just a funny, free-spirited, beautiful, beautiful person," said Cindy Colvin, Katie's aunt. "We're a close family but we didn't know how big our family was."
"You never want something like this to happen and you wish it never did. But at least the positive that comes out of it are that people realize how precious people are and they band together to give each other support and comfort," said Rec. Eileen Winter.
In addition to the prayer service, there's been an overwhelming response on the internet through an "In Memory
" page on Facebook. As of 10:30 p.m. Thursday, 3,663 people have become a fan of the page. They're also leaving messages expressing condolences for the family.
The family has also organized a candlelight vigil that will be held Saturday night at the St. Francis Shrine Church in Auburn. The vigil will begin at 8:00 p.m.
“We’ve been blessed and we wish to God that Katie was here but the time we had with her was probably better than most people’s 29 years,” John Socci, Katie's father, said earlier in the day.
Police have ruled Katie's death a homicide and say she was strangled to death, but said that they still have not arrested a suspect in relation to their investigation. Instead, they're calling 34-year-old David McNamara a "Person of Interest" in the case. He is being held at the Cayuga County Jail for violating his probation, which stems from a forgery conviction three years ago.
McNamara was also a nurse, but lost his license four years ago after admitting to stealing narcotics for his personal use.
"We want to do everything by the numbers and make sure we don’t leave any stone unturned...and that's what we've been doing,” Lt. Shawn Butler said earlier in the day. “We have a ton of information. We just have to connect the dots and put it all together and make sure we have a solid case.”
Anyone with information on the case should contact Lt. Shawn Butler at (315) 255-4705 or lead investigators Det. Doug Parker at (315) 255-4726 or Det. Chris McLoughlin at (315) 255-4706.