EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Police continue to investigate the death of a woman found inside her burning home Friday afternoon.

Crime scene tape is still surrounding the East Rutherford home of 70-year-old Barbara Vernieri. Investigators said the widowed real estate agent was murdered before her home was set on fire.

WCBS 880’s Monica Miller reports

She was found on the first floor of the home after it went up in flames.

“It’s a little scary, nerve-racking. Happened two doors down,” one neighbor told WCBS 880’s Monica Miller.

Another neighbor said the murder has her worried about her own safety.

“Not only did she work across the street from me, but she lived pretty close to me, too. She was just always a pleasant woman,” the woman told Miller.

Neighbors told CBS 2’s Amy Dardashtian that Vernieri rented out the upstairs of her home.

“You lock your door, you put your alarm on but are you safe? Who really knows?” a neighbor told Dardashtian.

The Bergen County prosecutors office said there is no indication at this time that Vernieri’s death is connected to two similar murders in Teaneck and Palisades Park in 2010, but they have not ruled out a possible link.

Investigators said the three cases share similarities including that the victim in each case was a woman living alone.

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