Posted at: 07/31/2012 11:41 PM
| Updated at: 08/01/2012 12:49 AM
By: Jessica Layton
WESTERLO - Since her son's bloody body was discovered, Tracey Zetsche has barely uttered a word, even though she's been camped out on the couch of the Sheriff's Department.
That was until now. She's been taken into custody as an inmate.
Friends say her son was her life, her whole world.
But the mother described as loving and patient has been charged with murder.
With metal cuffs around her wrists and her hands covering her face, Tracey Zetsche took baby steps toward the patrol car that hauled her off to court.
The 52-year-old is accused of stabbing her son Gabe Philby in the heart with a knife and hitting him in the head and face with a hammer.
Zetsche didn't talk to reporters before, during or after her arraignment at Westerlo Town Court, where she was charged with 2nd degree murder.
“We have a 22 year old man bludgeoned to death, stabbed to death,” says Albany County Sheriff, Craig Apple.
Sheriff Apple says a relative discovered Philby's body in a pool of blood on an upstairs bedroom floor at 599 County Route 143 in Westerlo, on Monday morning.
It's the apartment Gabe has shared with his mom since they moved here from Long Island in the spring. Apple says Zetsche had been staying in the home with the dead body for several days.
The whole thing is a big shock to Sharon Molloy. She's Zetche's boss and says she'd ask to bring Gabe to work at the Hollowbrook Inn in Greenville. Molloy says Zetshe didn't like to leave her son alone because he suffered seizures.
“He was handicapped and she was very good with her son, a loving mother, took good care of him,” says Molloy.
“Actually we were told him and his mother were very close. I have been asked about Cerebral Palsy, not able to confirm that at all,” said Sheriff Apple.
Asking for privacy, a person identifying himself as the brother of Tracey sent us a statement, saying the incident has turned the family's world upside down.
“Nothing can prepare anyone for the shock our family has received. My sister and nephew mean the world to me and my family,” the statement reads.
No attorney showed up to represent Zetsche on Tuesday. The court entered a not guilty plea on her behalf.
She'll be assigned a public defender, has been sent to jail and is due back in court Monday.