NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A call for a gas leak in the Bronx this past weekend led to the discovery of the body of a 69-year-old grandmother who had been stabbed to death, police said.
As CBS2’s Christine Sloan reported, what else was discovered at the Bronx home left the woman’s family confused and searching for answers.
Lilawatee Ramsaran, Lila for short, was found unconscious and unresponsive at a home on Cranford Avenue in the Wakefield section of the Bronx at around 9:30 p.m., according to police.
Ramsaran was found by members of the FDNY who responded to a call for an odor of gas in her apartment. They had forced their way into the residence and they found Ramsaran’s body face down.
Police say Ramsaran was stabbed several times in the back. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
On Monday, Ramsaran’s family members were comforting each other. Her grandson, Andy Samuel, said his grandmother had no enemies.
“Loving, caring person, you know, she didn’t deserve this,” Samuel said. “So whoever did it, hopefully catch him.”
In discovering Ramsaran’s body, the FDNY also found that her stove had been tampered with and gas was seeping from it. Candles were lit inside the apartment. Police believe the candles were lit and the stove was tampered with to intentionally cause a fire to cover up a crime.
The FDNY got to the house just in time so it could not catch fire.
“What we heard was there was multiple stab wounds,” Samuel said. “So that’s the most we heard and can say at the moment.”
Detectives on Monday were searching for clues in the backyard and inside the house. Sources say the home appeared to be ransacked, but it was not immediately clear if anything was stolen.
Ramsaran reportedly owned the house and lived alone in a basement apartment and rented the two upper floors of the home.
Family members said Ramsaran rented rooms to the tenants because she traveled back and forth to Trinidad.
One tenant said off camera that he had heard a quarrel the night before.
“She wasn’t that type of person where she had arguments with anyone. She was always a helpful person,” Samuel said. “If you needed anything, you could have went; go to her. She would try to help you to the best of her ability.”
Family members said Ramsaran had a business degree, but had been retired for a long time. She worked for 30 years for watchmaker Baume & Mercier directing their customer service division, CBS2 has learned.
No arrests had been made late Monday and the investigation was ongoing. Family members believe the suspect has to be someone Ramsaran knew.