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Foul play involved in death of elderly Sandalwood woman, police say

Homicide detectives investigating after woman found dead in Willesdon Drive home

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Foul play is suspected in the homicide of an elderly woman, who was found dead Tuesday afternoon in a Sandalwood home, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said. 

Officers responded about 2 p.m. to the home on Willesdon Drive West in the Sutton Lakes neighborhood, just south of Atlantic Boulevard, after receiving a 911 call from a concerned family member who couldn't get in touch with the woman who lived there.

Jacksonville Fire Rescue responded first, followed by police, and they found the woman dead inside the home, said Sgt. Steve Rudlaff, with the JSO Homicide Unit. 

"It's definitely foul play," Rudlaff said. 

Police have not yet released the woman's name, but officers said she lived by herself. 

Detectives discovered a car in the driveway, Rudlaff said, but it's unknown whether it belongs to the victim or someone else. 

After obtaining a search warrant to enter the house, investigators could be seen going into the garage, taking photos and putting down evidence markers. 

"It's pretty scary. I mean, it seems like a pretty nice area, pretty safe. So it's kind of shocking for something like that to happen," said resident Cody Kinser. "You hope it's not something that's too common."

According to the JSO crime mapping website, there have been five crimes, vandalism and car break-ins, reported in the area in the last two months. There were no reports of crime on Willesdon Drive West.

"People talking to you, treat you well. The neighbors can't do enough for each other, so I'm just absolutely floored that a woman has passed," said resident Katie Seltzer. "We have a security system at our house, but what it really makes me think people should do is, when we have elderly people and our families, give them a call first thing in the morning, check on them and then call them again at night. It doesn't take a minute each time."

The Sheriff's Office continues to investigate. Anyone with information is asked to call JSO at 904-630-0500 or email JSOCrimeTips@jaxsheriff.org. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 1-866-845-TIPS.