92-year-old woman found dead in District Heights

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A 92-year-old woman was found murdered in a District Heights home Tuesday morning, police say.

The victim was identified as Thelma Steele. Police say she was killed as she sat on her sofa.

Steele was last seen alive the past Wednesday. Neighbors say they worried as mail piled up at the small home where Steele lived alone. Last night, one called Steele's daughter, who called police.

Authorities say they found Steele inside her house in the 2900 block of East Avenue in District Heights. Officers found trauma to the body. Steele had been dead for several days.

Investigators worked the scene all night and day. A dog sniffed for a suspect's trail and officers canvassed the neighborhood to knock on doors looking for clues.

The District commander says the case will be a top priority.

“We're outraged. The neighborhood is outraged,” Maj. George Nader said.

“I think its crazy. You want to live out your older years in peace, you shouldn't have to worry about someone breaking in to hurt you,” said neighbor Willa Barnes.

Robert Jackson lived two doors from Steele for more that a quarter century. He described Steele as a “nice, beautiful lady, easy going, spry.” She still did her own grocery shopping, he said.

“I’m 86 years old, you know how I feel about it,” Jackson said about Steele’s murder.

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