2013 July

July 29, 2013

The Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department is again warning residents to be aware of a recent increase in telephone fraud scams.  The recent cases involve someone being contacted by phone and told a family member(s) has been involved in an auto accident and are now being held hostage.  The caller then demands the victim send money for their safe release. 

The victim is then directed to wire funds via Western Union or similar service.  Chief Thomas Mauro reports there have been several reports of this activity in the Town.  Similar incidents have also been reported in New York State and New Jersey.  Law enforcement is conducting active investigations concerning this activity. 

Chief Mauro urges anyone that is contacted in this manner to hang up and notify your local police agency immediately.  Residents are urged to make your families aware of this current scam and not become a victim of this fraud. 


July 1, 2013 – Discovery of Human Remains – UPDATE

The Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department reports that an autopsy was conducted on this date of the human remains located at 720 Vassar Road in the Town of Poughkeepsie.

The Dutchess County Medical Examiner’s Office has positively identified the human remains as those of Joann Nichols who resided at the residence along with her husband, James Nichols.

This determination was made through the examination of dental records. The cause of death appears to be blunt trauma to the head.

As stated earlier in the previous press release, on June 28, 2013 at 5:00 p.m. a private contractor cleaning out a vacant home at 720 Vassar Rd. discovered what appeared to be human remains in the basement of the house.

The owner of the home, James Nichols, age 82, was found deceased due to natural causes in his home on December 27, 2012 by Town of Poughkeepsie Police Officers after neighbors had not seen him in several days. Officers found the house extensively filled with personal items, debris and garbage.

Chief Thomas Mauro stated ‘the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department was contacted on December 21, 1985 by James Nichols reporting his wife as a missing person. Joann Nichols was 55 years of age at the time of her disappearance. An extensive investigation followed and she was never located. The case has remained open since 1985 and has been reviewed annually by the Town of Poughkeepsie Police Department.’

The Town of Poughkeepsie Police will continue the investigation by further examination of the case and new forensic evidence.