(FOX 11 / CNS) A woman found murdered in a house in San Gabriel had been assaulted and asphyxiated, authorities said today.
The body of the 45-year-old woman was found in a bedroom of a residence in the 500 block of East Valley Boulevard by San Gabriel Police Department officers about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, said Lt. John Corina of Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau.
There was no sign of forced entry in the residence, where the woman lived alone, Corina said in a statement.
The woman had moved to Los Angeles from China, media sources reported. Her identity was being withheld until relatives in China had been notified of her death, according to the media.
Corina said friends first discovered the body when they went to check on the woman after not hearing from her for several days. He said it could not be immediately determined if robbery was a motive.
From Gigi Graciette:
We now know her name, Jinmei Chen.
And thanks to police, we also know how she spent the last moments, the last minutes of her life: fighting to stay alive.
Fighting with her killer, say homicide detectives with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department in what they believe was a violent struggle inside her San Gabriel home.
Chen's friends had been worried when they hadn't heard from the 45 year old for a few days. They had left her several messages and texted but had gotten no reply. So on Tuesday afternoon they went to her house.
When she didn't answer the front door, they tried the sliding door and found it unlocked. Moments later, they also found their friend. She was dead. Her killer long gone.
Detectives, along with coroner's investigators, would spend the next thirteen hours searching her modest home on Walnut Street, just off Valley, for clues.
It was a long night for all involved. Even Chen's neighbor's who say they didn't know her but now worried and wondered if her killer was still nearby.
"There is a killer on the loose", Detective Angus Ferguson told me."And we're all working hard to find that person."
But who? And why?
Police say it didn't appear to be a robbery and there were no signs of forced entry into the home.
Meanwhile, 6300 miles or so away in Tianjin, China a telephone rang with a long distance call. It was the police calling to tell a husband his wife, Jinmei, was dead.
And that husband would in turn have to tell their 22 year old son that his mother had been murdered.
Jinmei. We now know your name but the story won't be over until we know your killer's.
If you have any information on the murder of Jinmei Chen, please call the LA County Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.