MAYO -- A 71-year-old invalid was found beaten to death in her modest waterfront home today, Anne Arundel County police reported.
The body of Estella Nimmo was found about 8 a.m. by a nurse who regularly visited her home in the 3800 block of Holly Drive south of Annapolis, police spokesman V. Richard Molloy said.
The victim, who depended on oxygen because of emphysema, was found in her bed, apparently beaten to death.
Investigators are looking for Mrs. Nimmo's 38-year-old son Dan for questioning.
One neighbor said the son had tended to his mother for about seven years. She said the son cooked and cleaned for his mother and took care of her personal needs because she was bedridden.
In police radio broadcasts, dispatchers told officers the son has a history of mental problems and drug abuse. Officers were urged to be cautious in approaching him.
Police also are looking for the victim's car, a 1986 gray Dodge sedan with handicapped Maryland license tags 952-03 HC.
Collin MacKenzie, another neighbor, said the Nimmo family had lived in the community for more than 25 years.
He said he has known Dan Nimmo since he was a child and was surprised police were looking for him.
"He used to cut the grass around here last spring and he seemed real nice and polite. . . .," Mr. MacKenzie said. "All of her kids were."
He added that Mrs. Nimmo had four other children, two grown sons and two daughters.
Police found pans of kerosene scattered throughout the single-level rancher. A bedsheet was dipped in one of the containers and attached to the inside of a toaster.
The electricity had been turned off and police theorize the killer wanted to go outside and switch the electricity back on to set the house on fire.
That plan did not work, police said, because the killer did not turn the power back on once outside.