Mother of seven found dead on stairs near park

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – The body of a woman with seven children was found Wednesday on Masten Avenue at Edna Place, near City Honors School.

News 4 spoke to the victim’s family, who tells us 52-year-old Jerald Goldsmith, a mom of seven and a grandmother, worked at the University at Buffalo as an overnight housekeeper, cleaning offices and dorm rooms.

Her brother, Harold Goldsmith said, “My sister, she was kind, she helped anybody. She was a clean person. She went to church most of her life.”

“My mom, she was a very loving person. She liked to laugh. She was always a good person,” said her son, Phillip Hunt.

A man told News 4’s Nalina Shapiro he made the disturbing discovery right when school was starting. The man, who didn’t want to be identified, said he found Jerald Goldsmith’s body around 8 a.m. while on the way to the store. He asked someone at the store to call police.

MASTEN

The man said she had a lot of trauma to her face. The man also said her pants and shirt were partially pulled off.

Her brother, Mark Goldsmith said, “This is not something that just randomly happened. Things built up to this. To leave her the way she was left would be a level of rage. This would be the end of it.”

“There is, somewhere in our area, a callous, cold murderer,” said Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen. Pridgen represents the Ellicott District, in which Masten Park is located.

“He should be brought to justice. And anyone who knows anything should be bold enough, as bold as he was… to take her life. They should be brought to justice,” Pridgen told News 4 Wednesday night.

Buffalo Police Homicide Investigators collected evidence on the stairs leading up to Masten Park, where a lot of kids go to play basketball and hang out after school. One of the top high schools in the area, City Honors, and the growing Buffalo Medical Corridor are just a few blocks away.

“This is a neighborhood that, at one, point, had a lot of crime in it and that has really turned itself around,” Pridgen said. “And so for this to happen, to what appears to be an innocent victim, is distressing.”

Neighbor Raymond Backey said, “For something like that to happen over here, it’s very shocking.”

Backey lives a block away on Dodge. He wasn’t the only person who had concerns about the tall bushes around where the woman was found.

“The city don’t clean up, doesn’t make any sense,” said Backey.

Neighbor Angie Sullivan said, “It’s a little disconcerting that one side of the stadium is well groomed, but the side facing the neighborhood never gets cut back.”

City of Buffalo Spokesperson Mike DeGeorge says the city cuts the grass and bushes several times a year and did just as recently as Monday. A portion was cut back this summer, but a the section outside the Johnnie B. Wiley Sports Pavilion, where the apparent homicide took place, remains overgrown.

Backey still thinks more needs to be done. Neighbor Jeremy Powell says the area itself is dangerous.

“It’s becoming very serious and dangerous over here. We have girls getting killed and stuff like that and now I’m a little nervous about coming out of my own house,” he said.

Pridgen said he checked out Masten Park himself on Wednesday, and could see the overgrowth problems the neighbors are worried about.

“I wasn’t aware of it, but we’re going to make sure that within the next 24 hours, that that area, that the brush is cut down,” he promised. “It must be. It should be.”

“Tomorrow, I’m going to be meeting with Public Works and asking them to take a look at that area to ensure that it is properly lit,” Pridgen added.

Buffalo Police say they are awaiting autopsy results to determine Goldsmith’s cause of death.

Wednesday, Backey stood on the street, taking in the sight of the crime scene.

“I feel sad for the young lady,” he said. “I wish I was out here last night and I would’ve heard something. I would’ve called the police.”

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