STAMFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – A 93-year-old woman was found dead in the basement of her Stamford home.

It looked like an accident, but the medical examiner says otherwise.

“She couldn’t wait every spring to get out into the garden. She complained all winter ‘Can’t do anything,'” said Roy Mehner. “She loved to garden.”

He made the shocking discovery on Wednesday when he came to his mother Isabella Mehner’s home on Cove Road to check on her.

She was dead at the bottom of the basement stairs.

At first, it appeared to be an accident. But an autopsy concluded the manner of death was a homicide.

“She had blunt force trauma to the head, which most of us would think was from the fall. However, based on the scene that the investigator from the OCME office, they feel the injuries were too grave for the fall down the stairs,” said Lt. Mike Noto of the Stamford Police.

“It’s very upsetting. She’s 93 years old. Why would they do something like that? It’s just terrible,” Roy Mehner said.

Stamford Police are canvassing the neighborhood for surveillance video. They have a narrow window: Between 3 p.m. Wednesday when the victim spoke with a family member and 6 p.m. when she didn’t answer her phone, CBS2’s Tony Aiello reported.

Police and family say Mehner habitually locked her door, but it was unlocked when family arrived to find her dead.

“There’s a few things that we’re not disclosing yet that were different than her normal pattern. There were a few personal items missing, that obviously raises our concern. But right now it’s going to take a lot of leg work and lot of help from the community to crack this case,” Noto said.

“She was a very lovely lady. And I pray to God they catch whoever did this,” said neighbor Chris Foster.

“I live in the area and I always used to see her outside, in her garden. I feel really bad about this, it’s total shock to me. I feel very very badly about it,” said neighbor Christine Klein.

Stamford Police are asking anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious in the area of Cove Road at Willowbrook Avenue from noon to 8 p.m. Wednesday is asked to call (203) 977-4420.

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