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73-year old Columbia County Woman Murdered Near Albany

Shafiqul Islam
Columbia County Sheriff's Office

A 73-year old woman was found murdered in her Columbia County home Sunday.  The county sheriffs have 21-year old Shafiqul Islam in custody, but have not charged him with the Lois Decker’s death.  Islam crashed Decker’s 2006 Hyundai Accent in the town of Claverack over the weekend.  Police traced the car back to Decker’s residence at 18 Cold Water Street and when they went there to question her about a possible theft and crash of her car, they found her murdered inside. 

Decker lived alone on what most would call a quiet street and neighborhood.  The cause of her death has not been discussed, but Islam is considered a suspect in her death, according to Lt. James Andres of the Columbia County Sheriff’s office.

Islam apparently tried to steal a second vehicle after he crashed Decker’s Hyundai.  Two good Samaritans had stopped to try and help him at the scene of the accident.  They were able to keep Islam from stealing their vehicle before he took off and stole a Ford pickup.  Police eventually caught up and arrested him.  He is charged with third-degree criminal possession of stolen property and was arraigned.

There is no indication, according to authorities, that Islam knew Decker.  However, Islam does have a prior criminal record in the town of Hudson.  Back in 2008, he was convicted as a Level 2 sex offender and was on parole.  He served three years in prison for promoting a sexual performance by a child.

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