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Law enforcement investigate death of person at Swan Road home

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The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department is investigating the death of a 33-year-old man found Monday in a Swan Road house in the town of Watertown.

The man was identified by his sister Monday evening as Philip R. Pickett. He was a resident of the home at 22834 Swan Road, according to Jefferson County Undersheriff Paul W. Trudeau, who would not confirm his identity or other details of the death.

Mr. Pickett’s sister, Kendra J. Kiblin, said law enforcement had not told her family anything about what happened to her brother.

“We don’t know anything yet,” Ms. Kiblin said Monday evening. “All we know is he’s dead.”

Ms. Kiblin said she was told about her brother’s death by her sister-in-law, and since learning the news the family had spent the day together. She said her brother had an upbeat personality.

“He was happy,” Ms. Kiblin said. “He had his moments, but everybody has their moments.”

Ms. Kiblin, her boyfriend and her father, Robert J. Pickett Jr., who owns the home with his wife, Terri J. Pickett, drove up to the house about 6:45 p.m. Mr. Pickett entered the house with a deputy to gather some personal items and a dog, and then spoke to a detective.

At a press conference a short time earlier, Mr. Trudeau would confirm only the victim’s age and residence, saying the matter was “an ongoing investigation.” The cause of death was not given.

The undersheriff also did not answer questions about whether investigators have identified a person of interest, who discovered the body or what time it was found.

Neighbors said they noticed an ambulance arrive with a couple of patrol cars about 8:15 a.m. Additional sheriff’s vehicles arrived throughout the day.

Investigators wearing white protective boots and masks could be seen for most of the afternoon going into the two-story house and coming out with bags of evidence. At times, the investigators’ heads could be seen in an upstairs room. A state police helicopter was seen flying over the residence.

Mr. Pickett’s body was carried out of the house just before 4 p.m.

District Attorney Cindy F. Intschert, who was at the scene, declined to comment.

Mr. Trudeau said during the 5 p.m. press conference that it was early in the investigation. “They’re going to there be all night,” he said.

At 9 p.m., the sheriff’s department said no further information would be provided until today.

Lyle C. Gayne, a neighbor, said Monday afternoon that he saw an ambulance pull up to the house at 8:15 a.m. He said he had spoken to an investigator earlier in the day, who told him an incident had happened, “and that’s all they said.”

Hours later, Mr. Gayne said, he still had no idea what was going on.

Russell Schaefer, another neighbor, said he left home to eat breakfast about 8 a.m., and when he came back he saw an ambulance and a pair of patrol vehicles, and a growing number of official vehicles throughout the morning. He said he was told by an investigator that somebody was found dead inside the house, but he was not told the person’s identity.

Mr. Schaefer said that Robert and Terri Pickett and their son had lived at the home for a long period. He said he could often hear loud voices coming from inside the home.

“There was yelling and screaming and stuff going on over there all the time,” Mr. Schaefer said.


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