The NYPD says officers found Evelyn Shapiro dead on the floor of her home on Williamsbridge Avenue just before 10 a.m. Saturday.
The door was unlocked. Groceries were scattered on the floor. Police said Shapiro appeared to have suffered severe head trauma.
Shapiro was well known in the community.
Bronx borough President Ruben Diaz issued a statement calling her a "pillar of her community."
He said whoever killed her was "a savage."
Neighbor Lisa Velez is having trouble understanding what happened.
"I got in my apartment, and I was crying. I called my mom. I was very very upset," said Velez.
Neighbors tell us she was found by her daughter this morning.
"She called her mother. She didn't get an answer. She came down and found the door open," said Herma Williams, the resident association president.
Diaz is calling on anyone with information to call investigators.
"Anyone who could so brutally take the life of an 88-year-old woman is a monster, has no place in society, and the sooner they are off of our streets the better," Diaz said.
As crime scene investigators and homicide detectives combed through Shapiro's fifth floor apartment at the Pelham Parkway houses, neighbors remembered a woman who had lived there for decades, a woman they say was an original resident of the complex that dates back to 1950.
"She was a good person. She was nice," said one tenant.
"Ms. Shapiro was independent for a senior," said Williams. "She had a car. She liked to get up and do her own thing."
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