Relatives Mourn Slain Family Matriarch Found Stabbed in Apartment

A day after her daughter found the woman stabbed to death in her apartment, police were still searching for the woman's killer.

Instead of planning Christmas festivities, Crystal Spradley is planning a funeral for her mother who was killed in her South Los Angeles apartment.

Relatives and friends gathered Wednesday night at a makeshift memorial and vigil to remember her mother, Wanda Threadgill, the family matriarch.

"All of these people are in pain, not just me," Spradley said at the vigil. "I'm mourning for my kids, I'm mourning for my sisters and brothers, I'm mourning for my whole family, because this is a loss that is just senseless."

Spradley made the grim discovery of her mother's body wrapped in a sheet in the apartment at 11:20 a.m. Tuesday in the 9500 block of South Western Avenue.

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Her mother had multiple stab wounds, but coroner's officials have not yet released the cause of death.

The last time Spradley spoke to her mother was Dec. 3.


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"No child should have to go through this," Spradley said. "I should be planning Christmas parties with my mom, not what funeral home to go to."

She knew something was wrong when she couldn't reach her on her birthday. She would have been 43.

At first she thought she was just working hard and couldn't return calls.

"We found out she hadn't been going to work," Spradley said. "She hadn't been calling her friends, so I feared the worst."

Spradley fears the worst because of the company her mother kept.

She let in homeless people into her apartment. She did it because she was once homeless and felt the need to help others, her daughter said.

"She knows the struggles of being homeless," Spradley said.

"Even the people that were harming her, she saw the good in them. She found the good in everybody, and this is what led to her demise."

Spradley believes someone she took in killed her, but detectives have no leads.

"What we do have is a crime scene with a lot of information," said Lt. Jeff Nolte of the Los Angeles Police Department. "We're trying to canvas the area, speak to witnesses in the area, look for video and put the pieces together."

Spradley, meanwhile, urges people to come forward if they know anything about her mother's slaying.

"Just help my momma," she said. "Help us get closure. The person who did this you know what you did. You know how you hurt us."

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