Woman found shot to death inside vehicle

January 18, 2012 4:08:36 AM PST
A puzzling murder near the Galleria area. A woman was found shot to death inside her car near her Galleria area townhome. It appears Houston police still have a lot of unanswered questions.

At age 30, Gelareh Bagherzadeh was looking to the future. A UT Health Science Center student, she was studying molecular technology at MD Anderson Hospital. All that ended with a gunshot through her car window as she was driving through her townhouse complex on Augusta near Candlewood at around midnight.

"I thought two shots, I heard bang, bang. I thought I was dreaming, but evidently I wasn't," said neighbor Steve Markham. "I thought it was fireworks, maybe. But I really thought it was a dream."

Her car kept driving forward, even as she was slumped over the wheel, going through a garage door. By the time police arrived, the tires had rubbed down to the steel tread. Bagherzadeh was pronounced dead.

Police say the last person to hear her voice was her former boyfriend, now said to be her best friend, who was talking to her on her cell phone when it happened.

"Hon-hon, cause that's what she called him, and then he heard a loud thud. He doesn't recall hearing any gunshots, but a loud thud and then a screeching noise," said Richard Bolton with HPD Homicide.

The friend to whom she was talking did not want to speak publicly, neither did her family as they are understandably in shock.

The mystery is who would do this and why. Nothing of value was taken from her car -- police say the victim's purse and phone were found inside; and why did she turn on a dead-end drive on the opposite side of the complex where she lived?

"We don't know why she ended up back there on the back end; maybe they only lived here for a short time, maybe she's unfamiliar with the property, because from what we understand from friends and relatives is she always parks on the street in front of her townhome," said Bolton.

It's believed that whoever did the shooting was standing outside a car. The screeching that was heard could have been her own car tires.

Police want to talk to her current boyfriend. Investigators have retrieved surveillance tape from security cameras on the townhomes, hoping it will reveal some clues.