BELLAIRE - Village police and Belmont County authorities are continuing their search for a suspect or suspects in the robbery and brutal murder of an elderly West Bellaire woman, which occurred sometime late Friday or early Saturday.
According to reports, there are no suspects at this time and law enforcement officials are asking for help from the community.
"We are checking a few things out in different directions," Bellaire Police Chief Mike Kovalyk said early today. "We have had some communications from some people."
Kovalyk, while not releasing the victim's identity just yet, said an autopsy was to be performed today in Newark, Licking County. The results could be released as early as today.
Anyone that may have saw anything suspicious late Friday or early Saturday is asked to call the Bellaire Police Department at (740) 676-3322.
"We hope to catch someone," Kovalyk stressed.
While some fear has spread through the tiny community just off Ohio 149, Kovalyk said residents need to be aware of their surroundings.
"If anyone sees anything suspicious or out of the ordinary, they should call us immediately," he stressed. "If they see someone they don't know walking around, write down a description of that person. If they see a strange car in the neighborhood, get the license number and/or make and color of the car.
"Every little detail helps us out, and we solve most of our crimes with the help of the good people of our community," Kovalyk added.
Kovalyk said his department received a call at 12:58 p.m. Saturday that a 92-year-old female had been found in her residence at 124 Fourth Ave.
"A family member called and said they couldn't get in touch with their elderly mother," Kovalyk said. "The family member came to check on their mother and now we have a 92-year-old deceased female.
"It appears to be a burglary and a homicide," the chief continued.
Kovalyk said the last time a family member was in contact with the woman was Friday night.
He said late Saturday that "agents from BCI had just completed processing the scene and he was helping the family board up some things at the house."
Kovalyk said the Belmont County Coroner was called to the scene, as was the assistant coroner. Also responding were two units from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation Unit and cruisers from the Bellaire Police Department and the Belmont County Sheriff's Office.
Yellow police tape surrounded the one-story white house Saturday, which is located in a usually quiet neighborhood. He said the suspect or suspects made entry through the rear of the home.
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