HENDERSON, N.C. — Henderson police want to know who killed an elderly woman who last was seen alive Thursday afternoon.
The murder mystery unfolded Saturday morning, when a family member found 67-year-old Mary Alice Brummit dead in her home.
Brummitt's Mercury Cougar was missing. Investigators later learned it had been wrecked Friday afternoon south of Oxford, about 15 miles southwest of her home.
The accident had been investigated by the state Highway Patrol, which said the driver left the scene before troopers arrived.
Brummitt lived alone, but a family member talked to her on Thursday afternoon.
Henderson police are calling her death a murder. They have not released many details, but they have said someone got inside Brummitt's home and killed her.
"It still seems unreal," said Thelma Johnson, a friend of Brummitt's, "mostly because it happened in my neighborhood. We have always thought of this as being a real safe neighborhood."
Johnson and Brummitt were neighbors for more than 30 years. Their friendship started even earlier than that -- back when the two were just 12 years old.
"We used to double date together many years ago, and spend the night with each other, and all those things young girls do," Johnson said. "So we were really good friends."
Not wanting to miss anything in this case, police called state investigators. The SBI forensic unit spent most of Saturday looking for clues inside Brummitt's home, and they expect to be there hrough the night.
SBI forensic agents also will go over Brummitt's car, hoping to match clues to those found in the house.
"It just isn't safe anymore for elderly women," Johnson said, "or young women, or anybody."
Johnson and other neighbors said crime has picked up on their street in the last year, mostly break-ins.
Police said that, other than her car, nothing was taken from Brummitt's home.
Anyone with information concerning this case, or having information about the car wrecked in Granville County is asked to call the Henderson Police Department at (252) 438-4141 or the SBI at (800) 334-3000.