Two days after a private citizen found the body of 21-year-old Michaela MacVilla on his property along Kringsbush Road in Oppenheim, Fulton County on Tuesday, a New York State Police roadblock remained on Kringsbush, near Baum Road.
"They want to make sure that whoever is responsible is brought to justice," said MacVilla's aunt, Cora Murray.
State police aren't releasing Michaela MacVilla's manner of death, for example – homicide, suicide, accidental – until they have results of an autopsy, performed by Dr. Michael Sikirica at Albany Medical Center. State police don't have a time frame for that, but MacVilla's family says police have told them how she died.
"They've told us cause of death, which I'm not going to convey. That's up to law enforcement to pass on that type of information," said Murray.
Michaela MacVilla was last seen walking home from the Stewart's Shop on West Main Street in St. Johnsville, after working the late shift September 25. Her house is just a few blocks away. The area where her body was found is a very uphill roughly two-and-a-half miles away.
The MacVilla family has had to deal with the death of Michaela, her sister and her grandfather, all within the past few months. A GoFundMe page is set up to help them address, first and foremost, Michaela's final expenses. Her mother is a hairstylist and she's had to take some time off from work, to deal both with overwhelming grief and loss, and to make final arrangements. Because she's self-employed, when she doesn't work, there is no paycheck.
Candles line the walkway to the MacVilla home in St. Johnsville. The front porch is filled with more candles, bouquets of flowers, pictures and other mementos. Murray says every such gesture, regardless of how seemingly small, has helped the family in their grief.
"Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts. It means so much."