Woman found dead inside business

November 7, 2009 9:42:23 PM PST
A store clerk is dead after an apparent robbery north of downtown, and now, co-workers and neighbors are struggling to make sense of what happened. The attack happened on Fulton near Boundary Friday night at around 8pm. Police say they got a call from some worried customers who showed up at the store and couldn't find the clerk. Officers found her in a back room, but now, detectives are still trying to figure out who killed her and why.

Candles burned through the night outside the shop where police say the young woman was strangled.

"It just gives me the chills," said a 19-year-old who works next door to the business who didn't want to be identified.

He told us he saw police swarm the parking lot around 8pm.

"They forced entry and found the front area has been rummaged through, and there was a woman who was killed in the back," said Phillip Munoz with the Houston Police Department.

Police say the woman was working the night shift alone when someone robbed the business and killed her. The clerk she had apparently relieved just hours earlier burst into tears when she returned to find a crime scene.

On Saturday, managers for the company, Dolex Dollar Express, refused to comment, except to say they weren't able to get any sleep Friday night with the tragedy hanging over them.

A sign at the door, in Spanish, read, 'We are closed temporarily' and customers were directed to a second location.

Workers in the strip mall say they are uneasy after the second break-in there in as many weeks. A neighbor told us about two weeks ago someone actually broke through the wall of the pizza place next door to get into the money transfer store, but they didn't get away with anything. This time, it looks like some money was taken, but detectives won't say how much.

Police have asked anyone with information in the crime to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS.

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