What began as a telephone call to the Glen Cove Police Department at 4:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 17, by a young woman reporting her mother missing, has turned into arguably the most heinous, grisly news story in Glen Cove history. According to Det. Sgt. Tom Fitzpatrick, Rebecca Fox had arrived at her family home on Willada Lane in the Cove Landing residential development off Red Spring Lane to find her mother, Denice Fox, 57, missing from the home, as well as finding a great deal of blood on the foyer floor and a broken back window. Glen Cove PO Patrick Wright was the first officer dispatched to the scene and he immediately called the Detective Division. Sgt. Fitzpatrick said that Det. Steve Vetrone and Lt. John Mandato responded, and, due to the conditions at the scene, were convinced that a very serious and horrible crime had taken place. They immediately cleared out and cordoned off what was obviously the crime scene, said Sgt. Fitzpatrick, and began an extensive search for Ms. Fox after notifying the Nassau County Crime Scene Unit, Homicide Squad and K-9 Divisions to assist with the investigation.
Evan Marshall is escorted from Nassau County Court after his arrest in the murder of Denice Fox in Glen Cove. He has since been arraigned and remanded without bail. Photo by Mark Kasner.
Within a couple of hours after the police had established the crime scene, said the sergeant, a neighbor who had not yet been approached by the police herself approached Det. Graziosi outside the Fox home. Jacqueline Marshall handed a telephone to the detective, who was told he was speaking to Ms. Marshall's attorney, who was giving police permission to search the Marshall home. Along with Nassau County homicide detectives, reported Sgt. Fitzpatrick, Glen Cove detectives entered the home, and in an unfinished section of the Marshall basement, found a dismembered body, which turned out to be the missing Denice Fox. Additionally, said Sgt. Fitzpatrick, who was one of the detectives on the scene, police found a great deal of sadomasochistic paraphernalia, as well as several mannequins and shelf upon shelf of pornographic videotapes, all of which will be examined by the Nassau County Homicide Squad. Ms. Marshall's son, Evan, 31, has sporadically lived in the basement of his mother's house for years, said Sgt Fitzpatrick, but was not at home at the time of the search.
Police hunted for Marshall until Friday morning, when the suspect returned to Cove Landing, which was blocked by police vehicles, and was stopped by Glen Cove Police Officer Perry Giambruno. When Marshall identified himself in order to gain access to the community, Officer Giambruno arrested him, said Sgt. Fitzpatrick.
According to Det. Lt. Dennis Farrell of Nassau County homicide, Evan Marshall was believed to be the man responsible for the crime, and upon searching his car, said Lt. Farrell, police found the decapitated head of Ms. Fox.
As yet, police have found no apparent motive for the crime. Lt. Farrell stated that Marshall, who has lived on Willada Lane and in other local neighborhoods off and on for more than 20 years, has no criminal history for violent offenses, but has prior arrests for petit larceny and driving while intoxicated. He added, "It's our best belief the two neighbors probably didn't know each other." Ms. Fox and her family recently moved to Glen Cove from Hewlitt, Queens, after she retired from a career as a special education teacher.
On Saturday, Marshall was arraigned in Nassau County Court on one count of second-degree murder, to which he pled not guilty, and was remanded without bail pending a grand jury investigation, said Sgt. Fitzpatrick. The suspect was placed in protective custody and on a suicide watch.
Marshall has also been implicated in a hit-and-run that occurred prior to the homicide on Thursday morning, according to Det. Farrell. Glen Cove resident Cynthia Kouril was out for a walk on New Woods Road at about 8:30 a.m. when a car veered off the roadway and struck her intentionally, Det. Farrell said, adding that police believe Marshall is responsible for the hit-and-run, but no charges have as yet been filed. Adding that the incident was unrelated to the killing, police said it did speak to the anger Marshall was feeling before he allegedly killed Ms. Fox. Sgt. Fitzpatrick said that while there is currently no connection between the two incidents, he believes the vehicular incident will be brought up at Marshall's grand jury hearing and the suspect could be charged with the second crime then.
According to Det. Sgt. Vincent Posillico of the Suffolk County Homicide Squad, police in Suffolk County are currently investigating the possibility that Marshall might be involved in two unsolved murders similar to that of Ms. Fox, committed in Manorville in 2000 and 2003. On Wednesday, Aug. 23, it was reported that Nassau County prosecutor Mitch Benson had requested a court order for a DNA sample from Marshall to compare it to evidence from the crime scenes.
In addition, the FBI and local authorities in states where Marshall was known to have lived, including Florida, Arizona and California, are looking to see whether similar crimes have been committed, but not solved, in those locales.
At the Glen Cove City Council meeting of Aug. 22, Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi called for a moment of silence in respect for the victim. The mayor said, "This was a tragic and horrific incident and I would like to compliment and commend the Glen Cove and Nassau County Police for their expedience in the investigation. Most importantly, I would like to express the extreme sorrow of the entire community to the Fox family for their loss."
Sgt. Fitzpatrick stated, "Our detectives and officers, along with Nassau's 2nd Squad and Homicide Squads put their hearts and souls into this investigation and would have gone to the ends of the earth to capture this man. I can speak for the Glen Cove Police when I say that we all took this heinous crime personally and I can only hope that the work that we have done in preparing this case for prosecution thus far, including the timely capture of the man responsible, helps our community sleep a little more at ease and hopefully helps to start the long healing process for the Fox family."