Crime

Danby double murder suspect extradited

Michael Louise (right) has been extradited for the 1989 double murder of a Danby couple.

Michael Louise, the suspect in a 1989 double killing in Danby, returned to Vermont on Wednesday, Oct. 26, following his waiver of extradition from New York.

Louise, 79, was arrested earlier this month at his home near Syracuse on two counts of second-degree murder arising from the killing of his in-laws, George and Catherine Peacock, at their Danby residence 33 years ago.

Detectives from the Vermont State Police on Wednesday brought Louise to the Southern State Correctional Facility in Springfield, where he was jailed pending arraignment. That initial hearing is tentatively scheduled for 1 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, in the Criminal Division of Vermont Superior Court in Rutland. Members of the media should check with the Court Clerk’s Office on Thursday morning to confirm details of the arraignment.

Prosecution of this case is being handled by the office of Bennington County State’s Attorney’s Erica Marthage following a request by the Rutland County State’s Attorney’s Office due to staffing shortages in Rutland County.

The Peacocks were found dead Sept. 17, 1989, by a neighbor inside their home on U.S. Route 7 in Danby. They had been stabbed multiple times, and there were no signs of forced entry or items of significance having been removed from the house.

Louise, who was married to one of the Peacocks’ daughters, was identified as a suspect in the killings about two weeks later. Investigators at the time developed circumstantial evidence tying Louise to the killings, but were unable to establish a conclusive link until forensic testing in May 2020 confirmed a DNA match to George Peacock in a spot of blood found inside Louise’s car in October 1989. The blood sample had been tested previously during the investigation, as DNA testing technology was emerging, and that earlier test was inconclusive.

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