Harford woman's death ruled a homicide

March 24, 2004|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF

The death of an 83-year-old woman, who lived next door to the Havre de Grace police station and was known by most of the officers, has been ruled a homicide, police said yesterday.

Lt. Wayne Young, the investigating officer, said police have no suspects and know of no motive in the Sunday night killing of Hazel E. Jones.

Police would not release details of Jones' death but said she suffered severe trauma to the head and neck.

Jones lived at in the 200 block of N. Adams St., which Young described as a short alleyway with only a couple of other houses nearby. He said it is next to City Hall, which also houses the police station.

"She was someone we would see all the time during nice weather," he said. "Most of the people here knew her. On a nice day, we would always see her walking to the convenience store or making her way downtown."

Little else is known about Jones. Young said she lived by herself and at one point worked as a housekeeper. She was divorced, and her former husband died years ago.

He said Jones has a grandson and a cousin in the area, but it appears that she had little contact with them.

"She seemed to be a loner," Young said, adding, "This makes it hard for us, when nobody seems to be close to her. There is nobody to tell us what was in the house."

Robbery doesn't seem to be a motive. "There is no evidence that anything was taken," Young said, adding that the investigation is in its early stages and police have been interviewing family members and neighbors.

According to Maj. John Van Gilder, a Havre de Grace police spokesman, the death was discovered by a friend of Jones and by someone who rented a room with a separate entrance in her home. "They had not heard from her for some time, and they went to check on her," said Van Gilder. "They found the body and called 911."

"Violent crime of this nature is rare in this area," said Young. "This is the first homicide in Havre de Grace since 2002. The [last] ... prior to that one was in 1996."

According to Van Gilder, Havre de Grace police were called about 10 p.m. Sunday to Jones' home. They found her body in the living room.

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