Woman, Son Found Dead In Union Square
This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
Police are investigating after an elderly woman and a man were found dead near Union Square yesterday with gunshot wounds to the head.
Several neighbors identified the victims as Arlene Coffey, 72, and her son, David, 53. They said the two lived together in an apartment at 112 E. 17th St.
Arlene Coffey worked in the movie business, supplying antique clothing to studio wardrobe departments. She is listed on the film site IMDB.com as a costume supervisor for such films as Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder’s “See No Evil, Hear No Evil” and the martial arts movie “The Last Dragon.” Her late husband, Joseph Coffey, worked as a cameraman and was the director of photography for Mel Brooks’s Academy Award-winning film “The Producers.” He died in 2000.
According to neighbors, Coffey was a lively woman with a striking fashion sense who often dressed in expensive outfits and wigs.
“She had a really theatrical, colorful manner about her and she kept her petite girlish figure into her 70s,” a neighbor, Mary Reinholz, said.
In recent years, neighbors said she had grown ill and rarely left the apartment that she had lived in for more than 40 years. According to neighbors, her son lived with her and tended to her health.
The Medical Examiner’s Office is working to determine the cause of death of the two victims, police said. Police did not release the names of the victims yesterday. Officials said the bodies were discovered by a relative.