Neighbors of a woman found dead in Batavia this week are asking officials to explain what caused her death.
Sherri Butler, 58, was found dead inside her room at the Sunset Motel, where she had been living, according to investigators. Officials who performed her autopsy said she had been stabbed. The death has been called a homicide.
Genesee County Sheriff’s Office officials aren’t saying whether they have any suspects or leads.
“It’s kind of shocking,” said Bob Morrison,” who also lives at the motel. “I didn’t expect anything like that around here.
Deputies were initially called to the room at the room just before noon on Monday.
“They’ve all been here,” Morrison said. “Parole has been here, state police, sheriff’s. They were coming and going all day the first day, and then sporadically after that.”
At a press conference Wednesday morning at Genesee County Sheriff’s headquarters, Undersheriff Gregory Walker said Butler was last seen Friday night or Saturday morning. He added there was no sign of forced entry into her room.
“Basically the sharp force trauma to the carotid artery is a puncture wound to the neck,” Walker said.
He added the motel does not have any security cameras.
“It’s difficult, but (deputies are) out there interviewing everybody they can to try to get the information,” the undersheriff said. “Hopefully we will be able to come up with the information we need through the investigation.
Walker wasn’t able to say what weapon caused the wound.
Chief Deputy Jerry Brewster, who leads the investigative unit in the sheriff’s office, said there were signs of movement in the room.
“I don’t know if you could necessarily call it a struggle,” Brewster said. “But there was definitely movement within the room.”
Late Wednesday afternoon, deputies say they finally were able to inform Butler’s next-of-kin. She had been living in the motel for several years, according to Walker. He said she was known to the sheriff’s office prior to her death. Now her neighbors are anxious to know what happened.
“My family comes to pick me up now and then, and they’re kind of scared for me living here,” said Morrison. “I don’t know how much longer I’ll be staying here. But hopefully that will be the last of any kind of incidents like that. I don’t know what’s going on with this case.”
Butler’s death marks the first homicide investigation in the county since 2015, Walker said.