Suspicious Death Ruled Homicide in East Brainerd

Reported by: Alisha Searl
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Updated: 9/17/2012 6:28 pm
Outfitted with signs and a security system, it no wonder Diane Hitt is also a part of her neighborhood watch group.

She is used to email notices, but not like the one she received on Saturday.

Hitt adds, "There was an email I did receive on Saturday about perhaps a walker in the neighborhood that's been spotted in the last two to three days."

Hitt says she did not think anything of it, until she heard about the yellow crime scene tape stretched across her neighbor, Joanne Desha's house.

Hitt adds, "Matching up a little bit.  I was shocked of course.  Just amazed that something was suspicious here in the neighborhood."

We are told a family member found Desha dead in the front part of her home near the door.

When EMS crews arrived, they told police something just did not look right.

That is when police say they launched their intensive, 14-hour investigation at the home.

Hit adds, "It's disturbing.

An autopsy confirms the elderly woman's death was no accident; it was a homicide.

It was shocking news to a community that has been so proactive in preventing this type of thing from happening in the first place.

Hitt says, "We've had community meetings."

But neighbors admit no one could see this coming.

While police continue to look for a suspect, residents say it is important now more than ever to watch out for your neighbor.

Georgia Eastman, the neighborhood watch leader, says, "It's 100 percent important. We are not isolated individuals. We are a family within a neighborhood, and it's vital that we look out for one another."

Especially since a killer is still on the loose.

Hitt adds, "Certainly need to be praying for the family that's involved in this."

No word on if that suspicious person walking around Marco Circle before Desha's death had anything to do with the homicide.

We will be following this story, and will bring you more information when it becomes available.
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