Waterloo woman’s death sparks plea from advocate for domestic violence victims

Local News

WATERLOO, N.Y. (WROC) — A Waterloo woman was found dead in her home Friday after what was described as a ‘suspicious death’ in the village.

John W. Gray III was arrested for second degree murder after the death of his wife Ashia Chilson-Gray, police said. On Friday, Gray was “lodged at the Seneca County CAP for arraignment,” according to State Police.

MORE: Woman dead, husband arrested during ‘suspicious death’ investigation in Waterloo

Police continue to investigate the incident.

Mary Whittier, Interim CEO of Resolve Greater Rochester, told News 8 domestic violence incidents are on the rise due to the coronavirus pandemic, saying her organization has seen a 40% increase in the need for services since the beginning of the pandemic.

“If people think it happens to only one segment of the population they are grossly misunderstanding the problem. Because this is in every community, in every neighborhood, in every school, in every place of business and worship,” said Whittier. “It doesn’t matter where you come from or who you are.”

Whittier urged people who need help to reach out. Resolve provides therapy to clients in abusive relationships, and can be reached at 585-425-1580 or resolve-roc.org.

“It was definitely scary,” said Michelle Judson, a bartender at nearby Miss V’s bar in Waterloo, telling News 8 the bar had decided to lock up around 12:30 p.m. Friday afternoon as a safety precaution the situation developed, reopening later that day.

“And everybody was kind of on edge, not knowing, and they weren’t really telling us – was he on the loose? Did they catch him? Nobody really knew what was going on,” said Judson. “It was kind of all in the air.”

Judson told News 8 a regular customer at the bar had said that police had been to the home in the past, and the customer said they believed “next time, [Gray] was going to end up killing [Chilson-Gray], because there’d been so much abuse in the past going on there.”

Counseling was made available by Geneva Schools Saturday as the community continues to remember Chilson-Gray, a Geneva Middle School teacher. A memorial service will be held at the school at 6 p.m. on Monday.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Covid-19 County by County tracker

Trending Stories

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss