RENSSELAER COUNTY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Police continue to investigate two Rensselaer County homicides that appear to be related.
The male body found near a Brunswick creek Tuesday night may be the cousin and roommate of the man found dead in Troy Monday night, according to sources. Several unanswered questions remain as police continue to dig for clues as to what happened.
Two women who were close to the Troy homicide victim called him “a good Christian man that went to church.” They said he was like a brother to them and were shocked to learn of his death.
“I heard from a member from the church that one of the members of teenagers are dead,” Alyssa Lopez said.
That teenager turned out to be 23-year-old Javier Gomez. Close friends said he lived at his home on East Glen Avenue for nearly five months. Before that, he lived in Cohoes.
Originally from Mexico, friends said Gomez moved to the United States to make a better life for himself. They said he would send money to his family members from time to time.
Lopez went to the Capital District Christian Church with Gomez every Sunday.
“He’s, like, kind of like, a brother to me – like an older brother to me,” she said.
Gomez worked at Chili’s in Clifton Park in 2015. A coworker, Mynisha Dennis, is devastated her friend is gone.
“You know, I would like to find out who did this to my friend,” she said. “He didn’t deserve it. I mean, nobody deserves it, but when someone that, you know, is murdered. It’s a different type of death.”
Dennis said she knew Gomez lived with family. One of them was Christian Gonzalez-Hernandez. Sources told NEWS10 ABC they believe it was his body found wrapped in a blanket near Quacken Kill Tuesday night.
Dennis said she spoke with Gomez two weeks ago.
“He didn’t have any enemies, which is why this is kind of shocking to me,” she said. “Javier was the type of person who wouldn’t hurt a fly. He’s very kindhearted, gentle; went to church every Sunday.”
The cause of death for both victims has not been released. The sheriff’s office said an autopsy for Gonzalez-Hernandez was planned for Wednesday.
The motive behind the two cases is still unknown.