Huron, N.Y. --- Was it a family tragedy? Or was it something more?
When it comes to the death of Marcia Burkwit, 75, those are the questions being asked by curious neighbors and law enforcement officials.
Burkwit lived with her son Daniel in the family’s Bonnie Castle Road home in the Town of Huron. Last month the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a neighbor who first reported Burkwit’s death to them. Sources confirm that neighbor had a conversation with Daniel Burkwit, 50, and that he indicated he found his mother dead at the bottom of the stairs and that he then buried her under some leaves in the woods.
That was more than enough information to prompt a further inquiry by police. An initial report by The Times of Wayne County sparked even more conversation among neighbors along Bonnie Castle Road who all refused interview invitations from 13WHAM News. (Click here to view The Times of Wayne County report)
"I would just characterize it at this point as being a very unusual circumstance involving her death and what occurred afterwards and given those circumstances yeah, we're looking into it,” Wayne County District Attorney Rick Healy said. "It could very well have been an accidental death but under the circumstances we need to look at it very carefully.”
Following a police inquiry Daniel Burkwit returned home and allegedly encountered that same neighbor who initially called police. Burkwit was arrested for Trespass and Harassment, both violations, and an order of protection was issued by the judge to keep Burkwit away from that neighbor.
13WHAM News visited the neighborhood on Thursday and hours after leaving Burkwit was arrested for Criminal Contempt 2nd Degree for allegedly violating that judge’s order to stay away from that neighbor.
Daniel Burkwit does have a criminal past but none of the convictions are for violent crimes. A New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision spokeswoman confirms that Burkwit served four prison sentences between 1997 and 2009. Three stemmed from Driving While Intoxicated convictions and a fourth was for Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument.
He was released from parole in March 2010.
Authorities plan to continue their investigation into Marcia Burkwit’s death.
"It's important for her family to know what happened here and we're doing the best we can," D.A. Rick Healy said.
13WHAM’s efforts to contact Burkwit or an attorney representing him were unsuccessful on Thursday.