The caretakers for an elderly man are now facing murder charges after the New York man was found dead.

Ed Kessler of Long Island, New York was found dead back on Feb. 7 at a home on Mountain View Road in the Town of Elizaville. The home is not far from the Dutchess County border.

Long Island, New York Man Found Dead in Columbia County, Near Dutchess County

It's believed Kessler, 64, with addresses in Suffolk and Nassau counties, was dead for days before being found in the Columbia County home.


When Kessler was found dead back in February, police labeled the death "mysterious," according to the Times Union. However, officers soon believed the death was a homicide. Officials determined Kessler was strangled to death and police searched for the person or people responsible.

Following an investigation, police allege 30-year-old Cassandra Fischer and 29-year-old Ryan Woods, both of Elizaville, killed the Long Island man. Fischer and Woods were taking care of Kessler.

Officials say Kessler started staying with Fisher and Woods in their Columbia County home in late 2021. Kessler was not related to either. It remains unclear why Kessler was staying with the pair. Columbia County Assistant District Attorney Ryan Carty, who is prosecuting the case, told the Register-Star, that Kessler became friends with the couple.

On Wednesday, a Columbia County grand jury accused Fischer and Woods of mistreating, stealing and intentionally causing the death of Ed Kessler, News 10 reports.

Dead body on the ground behind a cordon tape
Getty Images/iStockphoto

Woods and Fischer are also accused of stealing over $50,000 in property from Kessler. Both were charged with murder in the second degree, two counts of first-degree endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person, two counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a vulnerable elderly person, and first-degree endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person, all felonies,

Fischer was also charged with grand larceny in the second degree, a felony. Both are being held in the Columbia County Jail without bail.

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