An 83-year-old woman is dead and authorities in Maryland believe a 14-year-old neighbor is responsible for raping and brutally murdering her in her home.
According to Fox News, concerned neighbors called police after it had been several days since they had seen Baltimore resident Dorothy Mae Neal.
The elderly woman was frequently out in the neighborhood, according to neighbor Eartha Davis, except for the days leading up to Aug. 26.
When authorities arrived at her residence that day, they reportedly found her unresponsive and she was transported to an area hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Suspect Tyrone Harvin is described as a 14-year-old who lived on the same street as the victim, who had possibly been one of his babysitters.
Baltimore police spokesperson T.J. Smith confirmed he will be tried as an adult on charges including murder and rape.
“I don’t think any of us were thinking a 14-year-old could be capable of something like this,” he said, acknowledging early reports suggested the suspect was young.
Davis expressed fear and sadness over the tragedy that struck so close to home.
“It’s sad when anyone dies, but she was an elderly woman,” the neighbor said. “It’s very scary. It’s the first time I heard of anything so close.”
Smith said the circumstances of this crime added “a level of tragedy” above even other homicide cases.
“We’re talking about people sometimes who are completely defenseless,” he said.
Harvin is expected to appear in court for a preliminary hearing next week.
[Featured image: Tyrone Harvin, Baltimore Police Department]