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Elderly woman killed in Colorado Springs; suspect in custody

Police say a homicide took place inside a Colorado Springs gated community last month. According to news reports, a 21-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the case.

The victim was an 87-year-old woman; a former church deacon.

Authorities say they believe the suspect, on probation for second-degree burglary, robbed then murdered the woman.

Officials say the suspect then burned her body close to a nearby trail in order to hide evidence of the killing.

Law enforcement officials first had their attention brought to the case by Colorado Springs firefighters who had been called to put out an early-morning fire. When they put the blaze out, they found a badly burned body.

Later that day, police began dusting the woman's property for fingerprints. After several hours of investigation in the home, police sought, found and arrested the suspect.

Residents of the gated community southeast of Colo. Highway 115 and Cheyenne Meadows Road told a local newspaper that they're wondering if the incident was a targeted act or was done at random.

One resident said the investigation is "very tight-lipped, and from a community perspective, we want to know more."

Authorities say their investigation is ongoing, though they're not looking for any other suspects at present.

The suspect was sentenced in El Paso County two months ago to five years of probation for a second-degree burglary. He entered into a plea agreement in that case. In exchange for a guilty plea, charges of selling stolen property and theft were dismissed.

He also has a pending misdemeanor assault charge, according to the report.

Obviously, his legal problems have escalated dramatically. In similar situations, it's best to talk to a defense attorney before discussing the allegations with police or prosecutors.

Source: Colorado Springs Gazette: "Burglar on probation arrested in killing of 87-year-old woman," Jakob Rodgers, Nov. 26, 2011

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