Police search for answers in Mother's Day murder

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Police are searching for the killer who murdered a mother in her home. Courtney Fischer reports

Police are following leads to catch a killer after a woman was found murdered in Baytown Sunday night.

Investigators say they've had several tips from the public but have yet to make any arrests in the murder of Natalyia Shal. Detectives have spent the last 24 hours interviewing neighbors, friends, and Shal's husband, who was out of town when she was killed.

Police are still not releasing details about the crime scene. They are facts only the killer knows, which could be helpful in the investigation later on, says Lt. Eric Freed with Baytown police.

But it is clear the murderer didn't force his or her way into Shal's apartment. When officers arrived, the place was locked from the inside.

Police went to the complex off West Baker to check on Shal after her husband couldn't reach her by phone Sunday night. He arrived in Baytown late Monday and has cooperated with police.

"We've received some tips. We've followed some of those leads. The work continues. The detectives have been putting a lot of early morning and late night hours in to try and come to a conclusion," Freed said.

Freddy Rodriguez said his neighbor, Natalyia Shal, was full of life.

"She was, man, always outside exercising with that hula hoop every day. Awesome lady," he remembered.

The next thing he knew, she was gone; police found Shal murdered.

"We didn't hear anything loud. We were here all weekend," said Taylor Thomas, a neighbor.

In fact, most neighbors told Eyewitness News they didn't hear anything.

Rodriguez, however, said his girlfriend saw something strange. Shal was taking to a man they hadn't seen before, just hours before she was found murdered.

"She told me that she had walked by, she saw her talking to some guy she had never seen before in the neighborhood," said Rodriguez.

That was around 4pm or 5pm Sunday. Police discovered Shal's body at 9:45pm during a welfare check.

Shal's husband is a truck driver. Baytown police said he was out of state Sunday night and got worried when he wasn't able to reach his wife for a few hours.

Police said Shal's husband asked officers to check on her. When they did, they found the front door locked and Shal dead inside.

"Don't take life for granted. You know what I mean? You don't know, this could happen to anybody. Nobody deserves to go out like that," said Rodriguez.

Shal was 50 years old. Her husband was driving back to Baytown on Monday. Shal also has a son. She's from Europe and he is still there.

Crime Stoppers is offering a $5,000 reward.
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