THE quiet community of Quarry Village, Siparia reacted with shock at the murder of its oldest citizen, Utilda Joseph, last Saturday.
One of the residents, former La Brea MP Nicole Olivierre said this is a community where people live in harmony, where you pass through yards of homes easily, as there are no barriers, electronic or other gates and fences to keep people out.
Since Sunday, when the gruesome discovery was made, she said, the community has felt a sense of violation.
Someone killed Miss Tilda, 96, who lived alone in a small wooden home near the main road.
“There is a sense of disbelief. It is really, really sad.
“People said they did see some strange guys in the area.
“Miss Tilda’s house was in the middle of a track where everybody passed through. Everybody live like one, so that is why when by mid-morning neighbours did not see her they went looking.
“I mean, you feel a bit violated by what has happened,” Olivierre said.
Miss Tilda was found on her bed with one hand tied with a piece of fabric and the other hand behind her back. There was blood around her mouth. Her bank and ID cards were missing.
Her great-nephew Carver Thompson said it seems someone saw an opportunity and seized it.
“Whoever did this to my great-aunt was a coward. She was physically strong to move about, but at her age and her size she would not have been able to handle anybody who attacked her,” he said in a phone interview.
There is speculation that robbery may have been the motive, as Joseph, who lost her only son to cancer four years ago, was well liked in the community.
Thompson said quite recently Miss Tilda told neighbours a young man had come up her stairs and asked her for money.
The police were informed and after her death, the young man was questioned.
“I don’t know where that is going,” Thompson said.
He recalled that last Monday, “I took her to the bank and she withdrew $2,500. She has a purse in which she keeps some money handy for when she is going out. I found that purse and there was $360 in it. A neighbour and I searched the house and we did not find the rest of the money. I don’t know if she hid it elsewhere, but we have not seen the rest, which is missing.
“I don’t know if it is a stranger or someone who knew she was a pensioner and lived alone, because people looking for anything easy these days.
“It could be someone from the area.”
He said the police returned on Monday in search for clues.
Thompson also said an autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday and a Saturday funeral is being considered.