Arcadia residents shaken as manhunt continues for neighbor's killer

ARCADIA, Calif. (KABC) -- Arcadia residents on Wednesday were shocked and shaken after their 76-year-old neighbor was found dead in her backyard. A manhunt for her killer is underway.

Richard Wightman has lived in Arcadia for 70 years and is baffled by the murder of his friend Chyong Jen Tsai.

Tsai was found dead Tuesday morning. She was building a second unit in the backyard and one of the construction workers found her body.

"She always, every day, had coffee for us, fruit, cake. She was a nice lady, she was such a nice lady," said construction worker Juan Benitez.

Benitez was one of the workers. He was shocked to hear of Tsai's death but said her property had been targeted just last month by burglars.

"Two weeks before this, they broke into the property and stole some tools, and she was telling the police to be around more, be around more because we don't see the police around here," Benitez added.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department is heading up the investigation.

Detectives say items inside Tsai's home were missing, as is her white 2005 Lexus RX300 with the license plate 5LOG473.

Neighbors are now left wondering how safe their quiet neighborhood actually is.

"I will keep the door locked all the time and be more watchful," said neighbor Alice Sun. "It's very scary and very sad."

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Anonymous tips can be provided online to LA Crime Stoppers or by calling 800-222-TIPS (8477).
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