Man in custody in connection to death of elderly woman in Alhambra

- Residents of an Alhambra condo complex were stunned to learn of the suspicious death of one of their neighbors.  

"I don't really hear too much going on there. It's a quiet neighborhood," said resident Rhonda Holguin.

The 78-year-old woman was found unresponsive in the courtyard just before 1 p.m. Wednesday. Medics tried to revive the woman but it was too late. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

"At this time we don't know the cause of death, there was some type of trauma to her upper body," said Sgt. Troy Ewing with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Alhambra police said the woman's daughter called 911 reporting some kind of disturbance involving her mother and a young man she did not recognize.

"At about 12:40 her door rang. She answered the door there was a male Hispanic who directed her to her mother outside the door. At this time we don't know who this individual is," Ewing said.

Sheriff's investigators initially called the man a person of interest. Around 8 p.m. Wednesday night,
a break in the case happened with the man being found a block away inside a car.

"Owner of the car comes out to retrieve something and finds the suspect sleeping in the car," Ewing explained.

Investigators detained the man for questioning and believe the attack on the woman was random. 

"I don't think they knew each other at all. I think he was maybe up in the area and something happened," Ewing said.

Meanwhile, neighbors are trying to figure out why anyone would want to hurt a defenseless elderly woman who recently battled cancer, enjoyed gardening and liked to take walks.

The suspect is being detained for questioning by the LA County Sheriff's Department.

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