Regional Medical Center

Homeless Woman Who ‘Didn't Ask for Anything' Remembered by Corona Community

A Corona community was in mourning Thursday night after a homeless woman, known to all as "the woman on the bench" and by many other names, was beaten and fatally stabbed earlier that day.

Flowers, candles and balloons covered the bench the woman -- who was known by many names such as Laverne Davis, Beverly and even "Grandma" -- sat on as locals gathered to say goodbye.

Residents said the woman sat on the bench on Main Street and was accepted as a part of the community.

"I know so many people would ask, 'You hungry?'" Cindy Anderson said. "(She'd say) 'No, thank you.'"

Steven Loia, 54, was booked into the Corona Jail on suspicion of murder and assault with a deadly weapon. He's being held without bail.

The attack occurred shortly after 11 a.m. at the 99 Cent Only outlet in the 700 block of South Main Street, according to Corona police.

Sgt. Paul Mercado said officers were called to the location to investigate reports of an assault on a woman and found the victim, whose name was not released, suffering from major physical trauma, including several stab wounds.

Loia was located nearby and was apparently identified by witnesses as the assailant. The suspect was initially detained for questioning but was ultimately arrested after detectives spoke with witnesses and gathered evidence at the scene, Mercado said.

The victim was taken to Corona Regional Medical Center, where she died a short time later, Mercado said.

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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