One week later; still no arrests in Boise homicide case

One week later; still no arrests in Boise homicide case

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by Andrea Lutz

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBandrealutz

KTVB.COM

Posted on July 30, 2012 at 10:45 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 8 at 3:31 PM

BOISE – With no suspect in sight, the Boise Police Department continues to search for the person responsible for killing a 74-year-old Boise woman last week.

“Be reassured that it still is very much a priority for the department,” said Public Information Officer for the Boise Police Department, Lynn Hightower.

On Monday, Hightower told KTVB that officers are keeping tight-lipped to protect the investigation.

“Nobody wants to jeopardize the investigation and hopefully the prosecution of whoever did this,” said Hightower.

On July 23rd, 74-year-old Phyllis Ward was found dead inside her historic Boise Bench home after it caught fire. The Boise Police Department later determined Ward’s death was a homicide. An autopsy revealed Ward suffered multiple blows to the head from a blunt force object before the fire started.

One week later, many who live on the same street Ward did say they are very much still in shock.

“Yes, it was a shock,” said neighbor Lanae Wadsworth. “Very odd, eerie feeling I would say in the neighborhood.”

Family members say Ward lived in that home for 35 years and she loved it. She also loved to work in the yard, tending to the garden and she was an avid collector of antiques.

The Boise School District confirmed Ward worked for McKinley Elementary School for a number of years as a teacher. She received a master’s degree from Boise State University.

Ward’s middle son Spence was working on the fire damaged home Monday afternoon and gave one message; he encouraged neighbors to get to know each other.

Hightower echoes that same message.

“It’s a good reminder that neighbors should always be talking,” she said. “Can we be closer as a neighborhood? Are we watching out for our elderly folks?”
    
Neighbors living on Randolph Drive remain on high alert while police continue to investigate and neighbors talk.

The street is lined with older homes, and many here have lived here for a long time. These residents know their neighbors well. Many, including Wadsworth say that is because they share irrigation water.

“When you are out and about kind of at the same time you talk to them,” said Wadsworth.

Although Hightower said the investigation isn’t revealing much now, she reports detectives are working around the clock working on finding a suspect.

“What happened to this woman was an absolute tragedy,” said Hightower. “It is one week later but this case is very very much under investigation, it remains an absolute priority for this department.”

Boise Police continue to investigate, and their presence remains in the neighborhood. Wadsworth said she sees officers driving through very often.

“There was a lot of activity, and there are still police, still going up and down on occasion,” said Wadsworth. ‘It’s a nice neighborhood, great people -- I don’t know why an elderly woman would be chosen like that… it’s sad -- its super sad.”

The Boise Police Department asks anyone with information on the case to contact Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS.

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