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Elderly woman murdered in Rialto home

June 22, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The murder of an elderly woman in Rialto is a mystery for detectives. The victim was killed in her home of more than 40 years Thursday night. She may have tried to fight off her attacker.Rialto homicide investigators and San Bernardino County crime scene specialists were at the home on East Hough Street well into Friday night and Saturday morning. Longtime resident Elizabeth Benson, 83, was found murdered in her home.

At one point Benson's daughter asked viewers to help police find the people responsible.

Monday, the neighborhood was unusually quiet. Crime scene tape was still up, a reminder of Thursday night's murder. Neighbors were very fond of Elizabeth Benson.

"From what I heard happened, it's just really sad," said neighbor Jeremy Wessel. "I use to go over there and help her start her lawnmower. She was a nice old lady. I used to see her mowing her lawn and doing her own yard work. Nicest lady I have ever meet."

"We've had a lot of information that has streamed in over the weekend," said Rialto Police Lieutenant Joe Cirilo. "Our investigators are working diligently to follow up on those leads that are coming in. And we want to ensure that we're doing a full investigation. This is a lot of information to process, as you can imagine. A very troubling crime, and we're being very guarded about what we put out at this time."

Lt. Cirilo did say this appears to be a home invasion type crime.

"There is no question that there was forced entry to the rear of the residence," said Lt. Cirilo. "And what I will tell you is that a violent confrontation occurred within the residence. And somebody took advantage of Elizabeth Benson in her residence and committed this crime."

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