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December 14, 2015

Delaware State Police: 80-year-old woman fatally stabbed on way to church

Clayton resident charged with her murder and killing a second woman shortly after

12142015_GilbertRochester Delaware State Police/Facebook

Gilbert E. Rochester, of Clayton, has been charged with the double homicide of two women in Smyrna, Delaware, on Dec. 13, 2015.

Homicide investigators have released the name of the man arrested and charged in connection with the fatal stabbings of two women in Smyrna, Delaware, on Sunday.

Gilbert E. Rochester, 66, of Clayton, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and related offenses, according to information released by the Delaware State Police on Monday afternoon. Rochester has been arraigned and is being held without bail at James T. Vaughn Correctional Center in Smyrna.

Troopers responded to the incident at a home in the 300 block of Hawkey Branch Road in Smyrna around 7:42 a.m Sunday, authorities said. There they found one woman dead in the driveway and another dead in a detached garage on the property, police said.

Before the stabbings, Rochester allegedly parked his silver Chevrolet Caprice about a mile from the residence in a field near the entrance to Hawkey Branch Road, police said. Then he walked to the home and waited outside until one of the victim's, Louse M. Cavuto Carrow, 80, left at about 7:20 a.m. to go to church, police said.

Homicide investigators said Rochester then attacked and killed Carrow. Shortly thereafter, the second victim, Mary C. Lane, 56, exited the house and Rochester allegedly stabbed and killed her.

Neighbors heard Carrow's screams, police said, and saw Rochester allegedly kill Lane when they went outside to see what was happening. 

Rochester initially fled the scene, police said, but was captured a short time later.

Delaware State Police's investigation into these alleged attacks continues.