Report: Mother of Commack Grad Allegedly Tried to Hide Murder

Albany County Sheriff tells local media the mother refused to show apartment to landlord, give description how alleged murder took place.

The mother of Commack graduate Gabriel Philby-Zetsche is not only being accused of murdering her son, but allegedly went to lengths in effort to cover it up, according to local police. 

Times Union reports that Lucy Rafa, landlord of the apartment 52-year-old Tracy Zetsche and her late son shared, said the former Commack mother refused to let her show the apartment to new potential tenants on July 26 - the day an autopsy revealed Philby-Zetsche was murdered. 

Philby-Zetsche, 22, a 2009 Commack High School graduate, His mother has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder.

Authorities said  they believe Zetsche allegedly murdered her son in the bedroom, stabbing him in the head and chest with three different knives, before striking his skull with a hammer more than 20 times, according to Times Union.  

Albany County Sherif Craig Apple said investigators found three knives and a hammer believed to be the murder weapon in a trash not far from the scene, as well as bloody towels and bedsheets.

"She tried to clean up, she opened the windows, pointed fans out to air the place out," Apple said of Tracey Zetzsche to Times Union. "She was trying to conceal evidence. She knew what she was doing. She just didn't know her next move when it came to the body."

As news of his Philby-Zetsche's death has reached Long Island, friends and former classmates to express their shock, say goodbye and 

Read more on Times Union about the what investigators found and the landlord witnessed leading up to and after Zetsche-Philby's murder. 

Robert Gardner August 03, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Again, I`ll say Tracy was a wonderfull, kind, women, and mother to Gabe. Apparently they were going to be evicted again, and probubbly had no where to go, and couldent put gabe through this again. She must have snapped, gone mad. But, I still believe there is alot more to this story. Tracy couldent hurt a fly. These pictures look nothing like her. She looks possessed.
Darlene Saitta August 03, 2012 at 02:43 PM
She had to be possessed to do that to her own child and then live with his body for 5 days. There is not other explination for this!!!
A Commack Teacher August 03, 2012 at 02:46 PM
I saw him multiple times a day at Commack HS, always with a smile on his face...happy to be there, a friendly, kind and considerate young man. RIP Gabe.
P. J. Miller August 07, 2012 at 04:00 AM
She had options. There are so many organizations, even the church, that are willing to help those that are in need. If she snapped as many believe, then she should have called 911 immediately, not live with the body for 5 days and then hide the evidence. 3 knives? Multiple stabbed wounds, 20 hits on the head - that is rage. She obviously knew what she was doing when she hid the evidence. No matter how you spin it, she killed her son. Has a bit of a temper if things don't go her way. Gabe was a gentle soul and now he is free of all handicaps and restrictions. He made the best of what life offered him without a complaint. Why couldn't she hold onto a job? Why didn't her family help her? So many unanswered questions that we will never have the answers. An innocent child was killed by the one person he relied on his whole life. So sad.
P. J. Miller August 07, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Wonderful and kind? Killing your handicap son is wonderful and kind?
Robert Gardner August 14, 2012 at 07:42 PM
Gabe is at peace living in heaven with God, our lord.
Alia Atreides August 14, 2012 at 10:12 PM
According to Ted, Tracey had injuries, but on other news sites, she did not. She apparently had some bruising to her arms which could have come from her son fighting for his life.
Alia Atreides August 14, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Ted is apparently the uncle of the murdered young man. RIP,Gabriel PZ
Alia Atreides August 14, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Terrible act for Tracey to commit...can't imagine.
Alia Atreides August 14, 2012 at 10:15 PM
I personally do not know anyone with Cerebral Palsy.... but the young man had a kind smile on his face....tragic.
Alia Atreides August 14, 2012 at 10:27 PM
Well, Traceys' face certainly looks like there is something wrong there...makes one wonder about the rest of her side of the family.
P. J. Miller August 15, 2012 at 02:03 PM
I am sure Gabe tried in vane to push her away. But to stab someone 20 times! And then to hit him over the head with hammer multiple times! That was more than a fight, that was pure rage. The police said she had bruises on her that she refused to explain. She did not have to, the evidence speaks for itself. The fingerprints. She was airing out the apartment - how much more proof do you need to realize she killed her handicapped son. There is no excuse. If she couldn't handle him she she had options and could have called her brother (Ted) or Gabe's father. My guess is that Gabe found out about the move and probably did not want to leave. We will never know the truth or the story behind the argument that led to his death. It must be hard for her brother and family to support her knowing that she killed their nephew.
John Gruber August 15, 2012 at 02:33 PM
the father abandoned them and blamed the death of his daughter and Gabe's sister on Tracy. As far as I'm concerned, he's not much better
P. J. Miller August 15, 2012 at 02:59 PM
If the father did not want to be involved in Gabe's life then why did he go to the trouble of having the wake and burial on Long Island? He had the perfect opportunity to just walk away as you say he did. From what I understand - the sister died after being alive a few months from complications from birth. They were twins. He also said that she had a history of violence, so we really don't know what went on that led to the divorce a year after the birth. And when the father would call to speak to Gabe or to take him out Tracey would not allow it. There are 3 sides to a story. At this point, I would not trust Tracey's side of it.
AA August 18, 2012 at 02:50 AM
It's disgusting to me that you all pass judgement without knowing ANY facts. It's wrong.
Michael Goldberg January 19, 2014 at 12:35 AM
Wonderful and kind? it's funny how people will remember someone once they've passed... the honest remembrance which i have of Gabe is a confused brat who would lash out on everyone and pick fights. It says that she had bruises on her arms. I'm studying criminal forensics at Suffolk and id have to say that it seems she was attacked by him and he was probably saying very hurtful things as well.. this along with all her bills and stress most likely caused her to snap and Gabe is a strong kid so she needed a hammer and knife to take him down. Not saying it was right but that is just my outlook. I knew Gabe better than most, and he definitely had an attitude problem.
John Gruber January 19, 2014 at 12:41 PM
Wow so because you take a class at community college you must know more than the cops who investigated the case…you're an idiot. Gabe was ten times the human being you will ever be. People like you are literally to stupid to function saying this about someone who can't defend themselves and who had cerebral palsy…you're a scumbag who deserves to be hit by a hammer over the head repeatedly
Michael Goldberg January 24, 2014 at 11:38 PM
Lol and you're a loser Gruber.. you know who i am Get at me . And suffolk is a good education for the money.. i could have gone to top schools like NYU or St. Johns or Pennstate... I just chose community college because it suits my needs John. And i didn't say i kno more than the cops, i only know as much as they do based off the reports, and ontop of that a little bit of inside knowledge considering because i had this odd relationship with Gabe those piggies never had. I am entitled to my own opinion without hearing a whimper from you. So let me put this nicely.. FUck Off
John Gruber January 25, 2014 at 12:52 PM
Did you investigate the case? Did you examine the crime scene? Speak to witnesses, neighbors, etc? No, you just sit at your computer being an armchair judge. you're clearly just spouting bs because you took a class at suffolk and now think all of a sudden you're a detective who knows as much as someone who's being doing this their entire life and who actually investigated the case.. You just spread completely false information saying he attacked her, which you supposedly know because you took a class at. suffolk…You offered nothing but speculation with absolutely nothing to back it up other than the fact you "took classes at suffolk". Why don't you stop playing detective and leave it to the REAL ones instead of spreading rumors you have nothing to back yourself up with.
John Gruber January 25, 2014 at 01:12 PM
The mom has bruises on her and the kid has a hammer in skull but yea, the kid attacked her…You have nothing to prove Gabe attackers her. And to insinuate that a "knife and hammer" stabbings were needed to defend against someone with cerebral palsy is probably the icing on the stupidity cake. But by all means keep pretending like you no more than the people actually investigating it and do it for a living….tool.
P. J. Miller January 25, 2014 at 02:54 PM
Takes two! You were not there. He was VERY strong. And I am sure he was not happy that they were moving and an argument developed and got out of hand. I am sure she 'snapped' and realized later what she had done ....that is why her plea was GUILTY.She knows the truth. She tried to hide the evidence and clean up the crime scene -what does that tell you? She didn't get the bruises by hitting herself! How else would you explain the bruises? Evidence doesn't lie. It speaks for itself. No matter what the reason - she still killed her son.


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