When Vicki Wilkerson couldn’t reach her sister Friday afternoon, she became concerned enough to ask her nephew to check on his mother.
The son arrived about 20 minutes later at his mother’s mobile home in northwest Fort Wayne and found a horrific scene.
“He said, ‘It’s bad. There’s blood all over,’ ” Wilkerson said of her nephew’s reaction over the phone as he opened the front door to his mother’s home and found her body on the floor.
Police are treating the death of the 78-year-old woman, whose name was not yet officially released, as suspicious, according to Officer Chris Felton, spokesman for the Fort Wayne Police Department.
He said the coroner’s office will issue a ruling on whether the scene at 5721 Le Steele Blvd. in Valley Hills Mobile Home Park off Washington Center Road was a homicide.
Wilkerson said Friday she talked to her sister every day by phone at 4:30 p.m. and knows the retired widow expected her call.
“Today, I called her three times and no answer,” Wilkerson said.
Felton did not say whether there were signs of a struggle or whether anything was missing from the home, although family members could be heard discussing a missing piece of electronic equipment.
Neighbor Gary Piercy said he usually keeps to himself and so did the woman whose mobile home was now roped off with police tape and hedged in by police cars and crime-scene vans parked in front of it.
“She was an all-around good lady,” Piercy said, adding that he helped his neighbor at times with anything she needed.
Wilkerson recalled her as a friend to animals and a huge Chicago Cubs fan.
“She was an animal lover. She took care of the birds,” she said, adding that her sister retired about 10 years ago from her job as a legal secretary for the law firm Baker & Daniels in Fort Wayne.
As police interviewed nearby residents, family and Piercy were mystified as to what happened in the woman’s mobile home.
“She was the best neighbor a guy could hope for,” Piercy said.