Woonsocket police say motive in woman's killing still unclear

Constance Gauthier

Woonsocket police said Thursday that they're still trying to determine why an 81-year-old woman was stabbed to death in her home two years ago.

Chief Thomas Oates shared what he could about the break that led to two arrests in the stabbing death of Constance Gauthier in 2016.

“Without getting into any details, we did to get a break in some forensic evidence that allowed us to get enough evidence over the last several days to charge these two individuals," Oates said.

Police said Matthew Dusseault, 20, of Woonsocket, surrendered at the police station Tuesday night and Tyler Grenon, 23, of Attleboro, on Wednesday. They were arraigned on first-degree murder charges Wednesday and held.

Police described Gauthier as a woman who was very active in her community.

"Someone that close to our community, it really affected a lot of us," Director of Public Safety Eugene Jalette said.

The chief said a motive is not clear but the scene appeared to be staged to look like a robbery. The victim was stabbed more than 60 times. Her body was underneath her mattress.

Grenon was Gauthier’s neighbor. Dusseault is as a friend of his.

Detective Capt. Michael Lemoine said Gauthier was described as a grandmother-type to Grenon. He detailed Grenon's demeanor at the scene on the day Gauthier was discovered.

"You know, he gave the appearance of being a concerned resident, you know, at that time trying to help police," Lemoine said.

Oates said that after two long years of collaboration and team work, they were ultimately able to get to this point but the case is far from over.

Neither suspect has a past criminal record, and there is forensic evidence to analyze.

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