The victim was nearly beaten to death and police say the suspects who planned the murder include her own daughter.
Alleged hit-man Keith Phillips knocked on the Long Beach woman's door on October 11 and pretended he was a worker from the L.A. County Department of Children and Family Services.
"The victim, believing him to be an actual DCFS employee, allowed him access to her home and spent a considerable amount of time with him discussing the foster-care placement process," said Long Beach Police Chief Jim McDonnell. "While in the home, the suspect violently and viciously attacked the victim with a blunt metal object shaped like a bat, as well as attempting to suffocate her."
The 62-year-old victim was hospitalized in critical condition after neighbors heard the commotion and called police. The victim has undergone multiple surgeries and is still in a care facility.
But perhaps most shocking: Police say the victim's own daughter, Holly Ramos, and her husband, Frank Haverly, who both live in Northern California, hired Phillips to kill the woman.
Police say after Holly Ramos was arrested on child endangerment and narcotics charges, Ramos' mother had been trying to get custody of her children, ages 2 and 4, who had been placed in foster care.
Although police won't say what they think the motive was, neighbors say the mother-daughter relationship was strained for other reasons as well.
"I know that she inherited a lot of money when her father died and has been in some dispute with other relatives about it," said neighbor Roger Sullivan.
Police served 18 search warrants, working with other agencies around California, even staying in Haverly's and Ramos' Northern California trailer park to stake them out. They arrested Haverly, Ramos and Phllips and booked them on attempted murder.
"There's no way to explain the kind of behavior that we saw in this, and then to hire somebody to do what was done here is just horrific," said McDonnell.
Detectives are asking for the public's help. If anyone saw Ramos or Haverly with Keith Phillips on or around October 11, call the anonymous Crime Stoppers tip line at (800) 222-TIPS.