Her family is making a desperate plea for the public's help. Annise Battey broke down as she described her twin sister, Denise, a loving woman who spent much of her time mentoring children and teens.
"She was just a wonderful person, a nice person. She was like an angel on this Earth," said Battey. "She actually had seminars set up for children going to college, and she was assisting them to get to college."
Early Friday morning, Denise Battey was watering her garden in the backyard of her Allard Street home in Norwalk when, according to her family, she was attacked in broad daylight, sexually assaulted and stabbed several times.
Hours later, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department got a call from a concerned neighbor. When deputies arrived at the scene, they found the back door open and Denise Battey's nude and bloody body in the bedroom.
"I just feel that who did this does not understand the life that they took from this family," said Annise Battey.
The victim was also close to her nephew, Annise Battey's son, who has Down syndrome.
"She was just his liaison for helping him every day, getting him out, you know, being there for him. So he just doesn't understand," said Annise Battey.
Authorities said they believe Denise Battey was targeted. Though they have made no arrests, they have a person of interest in the case. But they are keeping tight-lipped on the details, and that is frustrating to her family, who said they want her killer off the streets.
"There's a murderer on our streets, and if he can do this to my niece, there's no telling how many other people that are vulnerable to the same type of assault," said her uncle, Richard Bell.
Anyone with information on the murder was asked to call the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.