UPDATE: Feb. 1
According to CBS News, Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman released new information about Mary D. Pellegrino. Ferman said the 86-year-old enjoyed engaging in conversations with strangers at Dunkin Donuts and Tiffany's Diner in the Northeast. She also spent time at the Home Depot in the Leo Mall on Bustleton Avenue, where she hired employees to do handywork around the house.
Police are hoping for help from the public after saying the case is at a "dead end."
Original article: published on June 25, 2011
In January 2010, 86-year-old Mary D. Pellegrino was found murdered inside her home on Pine Road in Huntington Valley. While police confirm her murder remains unsolved, they say the search for the killer continues.
A medical emergency call came in to Montgomery County 9-1-1 minutes after 1 p.m. on Sunday, January 3, 2010. When police arrived at 2374 Pine Road they found Pellegrino dead with wounds to her head, Lower Moreland Police Detective Sergeant John MacDonald said.
The body was found by a handyman, who worked on Pellegrino’s home every Sunday, police and neighbors said.
After finding the body investigators from the township and Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office descended on the quiet neighborhood to begin the search for the elderly woman’s killer.
The investigation and autopsy found that Pellegrino’s body sat in the house over the weekend. Pellegrino had no children or immediate family to notice anything was astray.
“I would bet her body wasn’t [in the home] for more than two or three days,” said Dr. Walter Hofman, the county coroner.
The autopsy said that Pellegrino died to blunt force trauma to the head. Dr. Hofman could not elaborate on what was used to killed Pellegrino.
MacDonald said he could not confirm how long the woman’s body sat in the home, that was still decorated for the holidays, or the suspected weapon because it is crucial to their investigation.
When asked about whether the body showed signs of a struggle Hofman said he couldn’t comment due to the fact that the investigation is still active.
Investigators also discovered two of the victim’s rings were missing. One was a nearly two carat diamond solitaire engagement ring with a raised setting and thin band, as well as a ring with alternating rubies and diamonds. MacDonald said he could not comment on whether robbery was a motive.
Neighbor Ray Flynn said that Pellegrino and her husband had been estranged for many years, and up until his death in the late 2000s he lived in the home with his girlfriend. When he died his girlfriend moved out and Mary Pellegrino moved back into the two story home.
“She kept to herself. We only saw her a couple of times,” said a neighbor who only wanted to be identified as Steve. Others in the neighborhood also said they rarely saw Pellegrino outside of the house.
Flynn did say a that around the time of the murder that Pellegrino was having a lot of work done on the home and there were many different contractors coming in and out of the home. MacDonald confirmed that police have spoken to the many people who were working on the home and at this time none of them are suspects.
Also, around the time of the murder the home had plenty of shrubbery that blocked the view of the back door where neighbors say police told them they were focusing their investigation.
Montgomery County First Assistant District Attorney Kevin Steele and Sergeant MacDonald both said that county and township investigators often talk about the case and are still actively looking for the killer.
The home were the murder happened has been bought and is in the process of being remodeled and re-sold, said the current owner of the home.
A $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Mary Pellegino’s murderer.
If you have any information that can aide the investigation you are urged to contact the Lower Moreland Township Police Department at 215-947-3132 or the Montgomery County Detective Bureau at 610-278-3368.