A woman's body was found badly decomposed inside her Tulsa apartment complex Thursday morning. Police are calling her death the city's eighth homicide of the year. But since 56-year-old Helen Johnson's body was decomposed, investigators are not sure how long she has been dead.
It's a scene no one wants to come home and find. Tulsa Police cars, crime scene tape, and the medical examiner, all signs that someone is dead.
"I was shocked. I came home and everything was roped off and it kind of scared me," said Alfreda Jackson.
Jackson lives in the Orchard Park Apartments near 61st and Peoria. Thursday morning, police say an apartment worker discovered the badly decomposed body of Johnson during a routine maintenance check.
"The trauma on the body is going to be hard to determine, just because of the state of decomposition," said Homicide Detective, Dave Walker.
At first, Walker was cautious about calling this a murder, but after further investigation, he said it is a murder investigation.
"We're looking at some of the blood stain patterns in and around her that are leading us to believe it's not just somebody falling over and dying," Walker said.
Investigators said the woman appeared to have been dead for at least two weeks, but some neighbors said they saw her Monday.
"I come out every day with my dogs and I just walk my dogs over at the church and I see the lady from time to time on her balcony," Jackson said. "We conversed briefly, about the dogs or how the day was going, and things like that."
Detectives said the apartment was messy, so it is unclear if there was a struggle. Officers did bring bags of evidence out of the apartment, but they said, so far, they have not found a gun or any obvious murder weapons.
Neighbors hope this wasn't a random killing.
"It's shocking and scary, ‘cause this is a close knit apartment complex," said Jackson. "I just hope whatever happened to her, they find out about it."
Detectives said they did question Johnson's ex-boyfriend, but he is not considered a suspect.
Investigators said there are cameras around the apartment complex. Once they narrow down an actual day and time of the murder, then they will use those cameras to assist their investigation.