Tampa police search for clues after woman, 78, murdered

- Tampa police are searching for whoever killed a 78-year-old woman in her own home.

Loretta Jackson's body was found Saturday evening in her East Osborne Avenue home. Why she was targeted by a murderer is still a mystery.

There are lace curtains on the windows, a black truck in the driveway and bird decorations all around. Everything seemed in place last Saturday at Jackson's home.

"(There was) nothing different. It was just a regular day in the neighborhood," said neighbor Tameka Smith.

Though neighbors said Jackson often kept to herself, they still noticed her habits.

"She'll go the mailbox, drives her truck, and she'll come back," Smith said.

But when her front porch light wasn't on during the day, it was a sign that something was off.

Jackson was found dead in her home Saturday night. Detectives said someone forced their way in and killed her.

"Right now, it appears that an innocent 78-year-old woman was murdered in her own home and not that any murder has a good reason, but there is absolutely no reason for someone like this to be a victim of this type of crime," said Tampa police spokesperson Andrea Davis.

For police, it's a crime that leaves them with far more questions than answers.

"We have no information to indicate that there is any particular motive except for just an evil person at this point," Davis said.

"It's scary because I have two young daughters," Smith said.

Though not many neighbors knew Jackson on a close personal level, they all know someone like her.

"That's just heartbreaking. That's somebody's grandmother," said neighbor Erik Floyd.

With the killer still out there, they're having a tough time coming to terms with what kind of person would prey on a woman just quietly living out her golden years.

"The person who did it has a mother, sister, aunt, grandmother," Smith said. "It's horrible."

"We just need to get together, watch over each others' houses so something like this never happens again," Floyd said.

Tampa police are relying on tips and information from the public to put whoever did this behind bars.

Anyone with any information on the murder is asked to call TPD at 813-231-6130.

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