NEW YORK (CBS 2) – A community is on edge as police search for suspects who killed a New Jersey grandmother.
The gruesome discovery may have been made by the victim’s 11-year-old granddaughter, reports CBS 2′s Dave Carlin.
“I’m afraid, I’m afraid,” one neighbor said.
Neighbors say they are fearful and staying behind locked doors after what began as an apparent home invasion on Flag Street ended with the asphyxiation murder of beloved 69-year-old grandmother Luz Hernandez.
“She seemed like a nice lady,” neighbor David Hinton said. “[She] never had any problems with anybody around here.”
It was Friday afternoon, and Hernandez was awaiting the return of her granddaughter from a nearby elementary school.
According to neighbors, one or more suspects broke in, stole a television set, and put a plastic bag over the woman’s head, fleeing the scene before the girl came home.
Neighbors say the 11-year-old granddaughter went up the back stairs and found the back door broken into. When she went inside, her grandmother’s body was on the floor.
“I’m so nervous, I’m disgusted right now,” one neighbor said.
Police do not have suspect descriptions.
Neighbor Iraido Alvarado, who lives two houses down from the murder scene, told CBS 2 he caught two men trespassing on his property just a few days before.
Now, neighbors view strangers with suspicion, hoping to uncover something to help get justice for a devastated family.
The victim’s 44-year-old daughter works in law enforcement as a corrections officer.