Authorities say the victim's grandson found the man covered in blood in his apartment at Glenoaks Boulevard and Thompson Avenue at 5:33 a.m. He was rushed to L.A. County-USC Medical Center, where he later died.
The grandson and victim's daughter live in the unit above, investigators said. They heard some noise at one point but didn't think anything of it. When the victim was found, they initially thought he had been shot because there was so much blood.
The preliminary investigation points to a burglary that went wrong, according to Glendale police spokesman Tom Lorenz. Detectives are trying to locate any possible witnesses or surveillance tape that will lead them to a suspect.
According to police, there was no forced entry, and the residence was ransacked. Detectives are looking into whether the victim may have known the suspect or if he was followed home. According to family members, the victim regularly went for walks in the early morning and late at night, but it's not clear if he went for a walk Monday morning.
Jose Valle says he's known the victim for more than 20 years. Valle says the 81-year-old recently was nearly mugged near his apartment.
"About few weeks ago, somebody tried to rob him, attack him, drop him to the ground from the back," said Valle.
Valle says that incident was not reported to police and now wonders if it would have helped his friend.
"I feel sick. He was a good friend for a long time," said Valle.
The death marked Glendale's first homicide this year.