Elderly woman found murdered in Harlem

January 14, 2008 4:42:00 PM PST
Police in Harlem are trying to unravel a murder mystery Monday. A 69-year-old woman was found dead in her apartment on 2nd Avenue, with a cord wrapped around her neck.

But who killed her? And why?

Eyewitness News reporter Tim Fleischer has more.

Detectives are dilligently working the case, handing out flyers with the victim's picture on it.

"Whoever did it, they gonna get em," neighbor Regina Stevens said. "So you might as well turn yourself in, because you're going to get caught. She was too nice. She didn't deserve that."

Stevens, and others at the Wagner Houses, are upset and unnerved by the death of their friend Helen Abbot.

Willie Key knew her a long time.

"Thirty years," he said. "She's a friend of mine."

"I couldn't believe that last night when I came out and they told me," Stevens said.

Helen Abbot's apartment is now sealed and padlocked, after the 69-year-old resident was found unresponsive by her daughter. Her death was ruled suspicious, prompting further investigation.

The family of the woman some call Miss Helen would not speak about her death.

Others find it unsettling.

"It's just sad," neighbor Carmen Perlla said. "C'mon, you have children...it's just sad."

Friend Sylvester Ponvin can't imagine who might want to harm her.

"Things like that just don't happen around here," he said.

And with security cameras in the complex, Regina Stevens believes the suspects will be caught.

"Whoever did it, you might as well give yourself up," she said. "They got cameras all over here."

Detectives say they are hoping those video cameras will be helpful in catching the killer.