Elderly woman killed in her home

NEAR CARSON Neighbors say it appears the elderly woman may have been beaten to death.

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Family members were at the house Thursday morning but would not comment about the death of 77-year-old Amada Simbala. Her body was found Wednesday afternoon inside her home on the 24000 block of South Doble Street by a housemate.

Sheriff's deputies say there was evidence of blunt force trauma on Simbala's body.

"The renters there I talked to yesterday. And he said that he went with a next door neighbor into the house and they found her in her bedroom, tied up and beaten," said neighbor Richard Mancuso. "And things wrapped, and, you know, ransacked her room."

Authorities say Simbala lived with two male boarders, but neither is considered a suspect. They say her home doesn't appear to be broken into and nothing has been stolen.

Some neighbors say there have been a lot of break-ins recently in the neighborhood.

"This past Sunday, Sunday night, my granddaughter's car was sitting here and they broke in and they stole her stereo. And this has never happened. This is almost like an epidemic," said Mancuso.

Robert Bruce, who lives in the neighborhood, says along with break-ins there's also a drug house nearby.

"I've got my neighbor's house and my car got broken in to, and a few other people. So, it's kind of creepy living around here now," said Bruce.

Neighbors say Simbala was recently retired from the furniture business and had no enemies.

Ruth Sakamoto says she used to walk with Simbala everyday. She says she's going to miss her friend.

"It's just really sad, you know," said Sakamoto. "Cuz she was real talkative and we'd just talk together all the time when we walk. She used to be so happy."

Authorities are still searching for clues to help them solve the murder mystery. If you have any information, you're asked to call L.A. County sheriff's homicide detectives at (323) 890-5500.

Despite the recent break-ins, a lot of the residents say the neighborhood is otherwise very safe. In fact, many of them were clueless about a drug house nearby.

Authorities say an autopsy will be completed on Simbala's body later Thursday.


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