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NYS Parole Board grants Edward Kindt's release for parole

In 1999, Kindt was 15 and went to prison for raping and murdering 39-year-old Penny Brown in Salamanca. Now 39, Kindt will be released from jail on March 29.

SALAMANCA, N.Y. — On May 9, 1999, 39-year-old Penny Brown went for a jog on the Pennsy Trail in Salamanca with her family's two dogs.

At 15 years old, Edward Kindt raped and strangled her with a dog's leash that evening. He's been in prison ever since.

Now 39, the New York State Parole Board has granted his request for parole. He will be released from Elmira Correctional on March 29.

"It's an extra lemon in the lemonade, I guess, that doesn't have any sugar. It is unbelievable to me. I just feel like how can he come out the same age she was taken from us," said Kirsten McElvene, Penny's younger sister. 

McElvene says she thinks of her late sister every single day, since she died 24 years ago. 

Brown was a wife, a mother to two girls, and very well connected in the community because of her job as a nurse midwife.

"She had delivered their baby. She had just delivered her 100th baby when she was murdered," McElvene said. 

McElvene says her sister was not targeted, but instead Kindt took her sister's life in a crime of opportunity, just part of the reason she's convinced he'll commit another crime when released.  

"I don't think there's reform for that," McElvene said. "Even though he's been in there for years, I just think that's something that's just there."

Cattaraugus County Sheriff Tim Whitcomb was just starting his career at the time he began working on the case. 

"That was probably the first case that I worked on as a police officer that confirmed for me that the existence of evil is real," Whitcomb said.

Whitcomb says Kindt became a lead suspect when he returned to an area officers blocked off, before they had even discovered her body. He also had inconsistencies in his story when questioned by officers.   

"I'm angry about it flat out. I'm very disappointed with New York State Parole and their decision to release him," Whitcomb said. 

Kindt was tried as an adult, since he was not yet 16 but sentenced as a juvenile from nine years to life in prison. 

In 2003, McElvene's family and former New York State Senator Catharine Young helped to get Penny's Law passed, which gives judges the option to impose more severe sentences on juveniles tried as adults. 

Every year that Kindt became eligible for parole, McElvene would write to the parole board, as well as her parents. 

"Thank God our parents are no longer here. Thank God they've passed away because this for sure would have killed them if they were still here," McElvene said. 

"Maybe generations from now (my family will heal from this) when it's just a story. No, I don't think anybody that's still here that she knew here (will heal), there's a scar. There will always be a scar, a piece missing. The puzzle is never complete and neither is your heart."

Whitcomb says the restrictions Kindt will be under have not been made available to him yet. 

He says Kindt will be under some kind of restrictions though, which could include an ankle bracelet, staying away from certain areas, limited internet accessibility, and/or a curfew.

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