PALERMO, N.Y. -- Residents of the normally quiet town of Palermo say they can't believe a homicide happened so close to home.
"Everybody knows everybody here. Everybody is friends. It's really shocking to know something like that happened here," said Kimberly Galloway, owner of Galloway's Good Eats Diner.
Police are releasing few details but say they responded to a medical call at a home on State Route 264.
Erin Maxwell, 11, was transported to Lee Memorial Hospital, and later to University Hospital in Syracuse where she died as a result of her injuries.
"An autopsy was performed by the Onondaga County medical examiner, and her death was ruled a homicide. The investigation into her death is continuing," said New York State Trooper Jim Simpson.
Neighbors say they rarely saw the people who lived in the home.
"The only thing I've ever seen up there is a couple kids playing on the swing set, and you never see any adults. They're just keep to themselves, stay inside people," said Tim Collins, who lives next door.
State police investigators have been at the house since early Sunday morning, and the Oswego County SPCA was called in to remove more than 100 animals from the home.
"There are 80 to 100 cats inside the house, along with dogs, reptiles and birds that have been confirmed in the home," said Tanya Semchenko, from the Oswego County Humane Society.
The SPCA is looking for volunteers to take in some of the animals, or offer any type of assistance.
The investigation into the homicide is continuing.
If you can help the SPCA by adopting a pet, or making a donation, you're asked to contact Hillary McIntyre at (315) 342-3050 or visit www.ocawl-spca.org.