Police: Elderly woman's body found under mattress

June 11, 2010 10:26:33 AM PDT
We are hearing from a neighbor of an elderly woman found dead in her Texas City home on Monday. The victim's family discovered her body under a mattress in her bedroom. Police are not releasing the 83-year-old woman's name, but they think she was murdered on Friday or Saturday, possibly by someone she let into her home herself.

Since her husband died last year, Buela Dunham spent nearly every evening watching television with her friend who lived across the street.

"Like 'American Idol' and 'Dancing with the Stars,'" said Dunham.

Which is why Dunham was puzzled when she didn't hear from her friend for days. The woman's car, usually on the driveway in the 200 block of Southeast Road, had also been missing.

"I went over there and picked up her papers. I had no idea she was in the house. No idea," Dunham said.

She contacted the woman's daughters who hadn't heard from their mother either. They came to her house and found her body underneath a mattress inside her home on Monday afternoon.

"It appears she had been in there a couple days. The body had decomposed," said Capt. Brian Goetschius of the Texas City Police Department.

Police say there were no signs of a break-in. In fact, when they got to the house, all the doors were locked. But once inside, they found the place ransacked.

One neighbor who spoke to Eyewitness News said the woman had been badly beaten prior to her death and that's the condition the family reportedly found her in.

"It worries you. That it could happen to you," said another neighbor.

While police don't have suspects, they say they are working leads, including everyone from yard workers to kids who ride bikes through the neighborhood.

Now people on this street, which is home to many senior citizens, are on alert.

"My son and daughter in law spent the night last night. They said, 'You're not staying by yourself tonight,' but of course I'll have to sooner or later. That's just the way of life, you know?" said Dunham.

Police have a description of the victim's missing car. It's a teal green, four-door 1997 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme with Texas license plate number: Z84 HDM.

If you have any information, you're asked to call Texas City Crime Stoppers at 409-945-8477.


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