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Eden man accused of killing his mother, arrested in Erie, Pa.

Wayne Kozak

An Eden man who is accused of killing his mother inside their home on Thursday is being held in custody in Erie, Pa., on a murder charge, authorities said.

Wayne Kozak, 48, is accused of shooting his 79-year-old mother, Mary Louise Kozak, in the home they shared at 8925 E. Eden Road.

He was apprehended in the bathroom of an Erie hotel by Pennsylvania State Police.

Eden Police were alerted to the incident when they received "information from a civilian that there was some type of incident," shortly before 4 p.m. Thursday, Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn said in a news conference Friday. Eden Police, who last had a homicide in the town in 1986, immediately called State Police.

"Over 25 investigators from the State Police were assigned within minutes of this case," said State Police Maj. Stephen Nigrelli.

Flynn said the initial call from the civilian identified Kozak as a potential suspect, and investigation led them to identify the Erie hotel.

"The Pennsylvania State Police tried to get the suspect to come out of his hotel room," Flynn said. "He would not."

Flynn said Eden Town Justice Michael Cooper then signed an arrest warrant for Kozak that was faxed to Pennsylvania State Police. They entered the room, and found Kozak in a bathroom. He was arrested without incident, and had no weapon on him, Flynn said. He declined to say if the weapon used to kill Mary Louise Kozak has been found.

Flynn said the next step is to see if Kozak waives extradition to New York, and if he does, police will return him to Erie County. If not, the district attorney will move to have him extradited to Western New York.

Authorities gave no information on a motive, and family members were mystified as well.

Several relatives went to the house Friday morning to find Mary Louise Kozak's white house cat, Mooz, who they said ran out of the house when police were investigating.

Mary Louise Kozak's sister said she called her a couple times Thursday, but she did not answer, and did not respond to her message.

"I called twice yesterday, and said, 'I want to take you out to lunch,'" the sister said.

When she didn't hear back, she decided to drive to the house late Thursday, and she saw all the police cars, she said.

"We don't know what happened," she said.

One of Kozak's cousins had seen him this week, and there was no indication there was any friction between mother and son, she said.

Mary Louise Kozak was a live-long resident of Eden, whose husband died about 3o years ago, her sister said.

Wayne Kozak was seriously injured at his work about 10 years ago, and he has not worked since, the victim's sister said. She said that he had suffered from depression following his injury.

Wayne Kozak lived with his mom and took care of her, because she had some health issues, said the victim's sister.


Neighbors are shocked that a man is accused of killing his mother in this East Eden Road home. (Barbara O'Brien/Buffalo News)


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