In the weeks following an 82-year-old woman’s killing, police have stepped up patrols, analyzed security at homes and conducted special meetings, trying to reassure residents that their neighborhood is safe.
Ina Feldman’s son found her body around 9:30 a.m. Feb. 4 in her townhome on Torrey Pines Court, a south Charlotte community of mostly older people.
Police said this week that they have not identified a suspect in the killing. And the crime appears to be the type that worries people most – a seemingly random attack on a woman in her home.
The police division where Feldman was found dead has some of the lowest rates of violent crime in the city, police say. Torrey Pines Court is between Quail Hollow Club and Carmel Country Club. Last year, police investigated 58 homicides, but none in the division where Feldman’s body was found.
Lt. Travis Pardue, the response area commander for that division, said the department kept two marked police cars stationed in Feldman’s neighborhood for weeks following the shooting.
“We’ve conducted security surveys of all the neighbors on Torrey Pines,” said Pardue, who added that officers have had a question-and-answer session with neighborhood residents.
“I think the perception is that they are pleased with the police response to the incident,” Pardue told the Observer on Tuesday.
Still, Pardue and residents said neighbors were worried last week following a break-in less than a mile away as a police helicopter hovered, its spotlight searching for a suspect.
On Tuesday, it was still unclear if Feldman was killed by someone she knew or a stranger. Police wouldn’t speculate on a motive or say whether there were signs of forced entry or a struggle at her house. A source told the Observer that Feldman died of blunt force trauma.
Feldman’s son and other family members have declined to speak to the Observer.
Investigators also wouldn’t say when they believe she was killed, although they asked for people to come forward if they had seen anything suspicious in the neighborhood beginning about 3:30 a.m. Feb. 3 – 36 hours before Feldman’s body was found.
Investigators denied a request by the Observer to release the 911 call made from her house, saying it is part of the ongoing criminal investigation. They made a plea for the public to come forward on the day she was killed but have not released a picture of her.