September 21, 2007

Random and Brutal

This happened only a few blocks away. I am a little scared. So far, the police seem to have no clue as to who did this. Neighbors said that she didn't carry a purse, so it doesn't sound like a robbery. Who could do something like this?

Article here

Slaying of woman called `beyond belief'

The 76-year-old found beaten near her home in El Camino Village was an active great-grandmother who walked 4 miles per day.

By Larry Altman
Staff Writer

A woman found slain in El Camino Village was a 76-year-old great-grandmother whose assailant beat her as she walked just blocks from her home, a detective said Wednesday.

Severa G. Madrona's attacker moved her body into the backyard of a home at 152nd Street and Eriel Avenue after killing her Tuesday morning, sheriff's Sgt. Chris Brackpool said. Madrona had no connection to that house.

Investigators have not determined whether the 5-foot, 90-pound woman was robbed. She was not sexually assaulted, Brackpool said.

Madrona, a mother of eight who had

22 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, lived on nearby 157th Street. An autopsy is scheduled, but a preliminary examination of her body indicated that Madrona was a victim of blunt force, detectives and coroner's officials said.

"She did have trauma to the upper body," Brackpool said.

Madrona's body was discovered about

8:15 a.m., but she remained unidentified until 10:30 p.m., shortly after her daughter and son-in-law reported her missing.

Virginia and Tom Bernard knew police were investigating a crime nearby, but had no idea it involved Madrona until deputies connected the woman to the missing-person report.

Detectives knocked on their door with the horrible news.

"It's beyond belief," Tom Bernard said. "How could (someone) do that to a 77-year-old lady?"

Madrona would have turned 77 in November, but was so active she looked much younger.

Before detectives identified her, they said the woman appeared to be about 50.

At least twice a day, Madrona took long walks through El Camino Village, going to the nearby community college, chatting with neighbors and visiting friends. She'd walk about 4 miles a day.

"This lady was in tremendous shape," her son-in-law said. "Her medication was zero."

A native of the Philippines, Madrona grew up poor, working on her family's rice farm. She immigrated to the United States about 24 years ago and soon became an American citizen.

Madrona, whose husband died years ago, never missed voting in an election and regularly volunteered as a poll worker.

She spent her days exercising, cooking, cleaning house, pulling weeds from the yard, and worshipping at St. Catherine Laboure Church in Torrance.

"What mattered to her was just her family," her son-in-law said.


Detectives are asking for the public's help to solve the crime. Anyone with information is asked to contact the sheriff's homicide unit at 323-890-5500.

Posted by Valkyre at September 21, 2007 11:36 PM

i'm scared too. I live in the neighborhood as well. It's very very unsettling.

Posted by: julie at September 23, 2007 07:04 AM