Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

14-Year-Old Boy Arrested in Stabbing Death of Woman in Her 80s

Deputies found the woman unresponsive and with cut wounds to her upper torso after responding to a call about an open window at a home

A 14-year-old boy was in custody today in the stabbing death of a woman in her 80s, whose body was found in her Lancaster home.

The death was reported about 7:10 p.m. Thursday in the 44600 block of Stillwater Drive.

Deputies found 86-year-old Annie Bell unresponsive, with cut wounds to her upper body after responding to a call about an open door at a home in the 44600 block of Stillwater Drive just after 7 p.m. Thursday, a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman said.

"During their investigation, detectives were told by witnesses in the neighborhood that a person matching the description of the suspect was possibly hiding in the bushes," Deputy Ryan Rouzan said.

Deputies found the suspect and detained him.

"The juvenile was positively identified by the witnesses ... (and) he was arrested," Rouzan said.

The youth -- whose name was not released because of his age -- was booked on suspicion of murder and was being held without bail at Sylmar Juvenile Hall.

Neighbors remembered Bell, who used a wheelchair, as a friendly woman and someone who would go around and share food with people.

"Oh yeah nice person, nice to my wife," Damien Bernape said. "She cooked very good, sent cakes to my house."

Bell lived in the neighborhood for as long as the subdivision had been around.

"I used to see her outside of her house, help her with her chores," one neighbor said. "She was pretty efficient, she took care of herself."

Many residents were unnerved by the presence of what happened to their kind-elderly neighbor. Many woke up to the presence of deputies, coroner's investigators and yellow tape blocking the street during their morning walk.

"Actually kind of scary this whole neighborhood is quiet," Wes Stevens said. "I'm walking dogs right now, I always feel safe."

It was unclear how witnesses were able to describe the suspect and what they saw. A motive also has been undetermined, detectives said.

Anyone with information can contact investigators at 323-890-5500, or can provide leads anonymously through "Crime Stoppers" at 800-222-8477.

NBC4's Michael Larkin contributed to this report. 

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