(WIVB) – The man responsible for raping and murdering a woman on a Salamanca running trail more than two decades ago could be set free as early as tomorrow. This is causing shock and outrage throughout the Southern Tier.
Sisters Kaitlyn and Bradleigh Brown feared the day their mother’s killer would be released from prison. Their mom, Penny Brown, was raped and murdered on a running trail in Salamanca on Mother’s Day in 1999.
“This was a community that was affected, this was a region that was affected not just our family. This is everybody’s worst nightmare,” Kaitlyn told News 4.
Edward Kindt, who was 15 years-old at the time, pled guilty to second degree murder. More than two decades later, Kindt is being released.
The New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision released a statement to News 4 saying, “Mr. Kindt will be released upon completion of his community preparation, which could be before, on, or after his release date. At this time, Kindt remains incarcerated.”
“In his statement’s he’s shown absolutely no remorse, no signs of rehabilitation, whatever that might entail,” Kaitlyn said. “Make no mistake about it, he raped and murdered my mother and threw her body in a ravine in broad daylight. He’s now a grown man, probably even more physically capable than he was at that time. I wouldn’t be surprised if we’re hearing something next.”
Kindt is now 39, the same age Penny was when she was killed.
“Not only is it so violating that it would even be considered for my mom’s sake, but that it would mean that we’d need him to commit more crimes to prove that he needs to be in there longer, for life,” Bradleigh said.
“I think you can see the public outrage, which makes a lot of sense. There’s so many variables and it’s just layers and layers of disbelief, anger, resentment at a system that’s totally failed us,” Kaitlyn said.
The family fought for years to keep Kindt locked behind bars. They worked with local lawmakers to pass Penny’s law, which increased the second degree murder sentence for someone under 16 years-old to 15 years to life.
“My family fought tirelessly to put legislation in place just to close this loophole,” Kaitlyn said. “To watch him walk free at such a young age, and still being relatively young ourselves, is absolutely impossible to get your head around.”
A fundraiser was created to support the sister’s with mental health resources and counseling.
It’s unclear where Kindt will go once he’s released or if he’ll face any restrictions while on parole.
Leaders in the Southern tier are speaking out saying they strongly oppose having Kindt back in the community.
“We don’t want this person here,” said William Aiello, who’s the Mayor of Olean. “I know that’s awful to say but we have to protect our community here. He is not rehabilitated by all accounts and we don’t want an innocent person, another innocent person, to be harmed or injured by this person.”
“I have fear for our family I fear for any path of any woman or man that he’ll cross” Bradleigh said. “It’s not if, it’s when.”
The Seneca Nation released a statement today saying the New York State Parole Board should reverse the decision to free Kindt.
Seneca Nation President Rickey Armstrong signed an Executive Order today excluding Edward Kindt from all Nation territories for at least one year.
“Kindt, who is Seneca, was convicted of the 1999 murder of Penny Brown in Salamanca. He is expected to be released on parole tomorrow. President Armstrong previously urged the New York State Board of Parole to reverse its decision to grant Kindt his freedom. If Kindt re-enters Nation territory, he will be removed with the cooperation of local law enforcement. The exclusion order will be reassessed before it expires next year.”
Senator George Borrello has issued the following statement in response to the news that Edward Kindt will be released to a motel in Westfield, NY:
“I’ve just learned that the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) plans to releasevicious sexual predator and murderer Edward Kindt tomorrow into a motel in the Town of Westfield.
“I am outraged that the criminal coddling members of the New York State Parole Board have made the decision to release this killer, disregarding the utterly brutal and heinous details of his crime, the trauma of his victim’s family, and with no concern for the innocent members of the public they are putting at tremendous risk. “He should remain in jail the rest of his life. However, if the two individuals of the three-member Parole Board panel who voted to free him believe that Edward Kindt is fit to live in society, then I ask them to come forward so we can make arrangements for a placement near their homes and their families.”
Sarah Minkewicz is an Emmy-nominated reporter and Buffalo native who has been a part of the News 4 team since 2019. Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahMinkewicz and click here to see more of her work.