A widow found dead inside her ransacked home in Derwood on Sunday morning had been stabbed repeatedly in the chest by someone who apparently surprised her in her upstairs bedroom, Montgomery County authorities said yesterday.
Police said they have no suspects in the death of Gloria Elizabeth Clagett, 67, which was officially ruled a homicide after an autopsy yesterday. A neighbor last saw Clagett on Wednesday afternoon at her home in the 6900 block of Muncaster Mill Road, but police are still not certain when she was killed, said police spokeswoman Ann Evans.
"There was evidence of her doing routine stuff, that she was smoking a cigarette and watching TV" when she was attacked, said a source close to the investigation.
Clagett, who was found wearing shorts and a shirt, did not appear to have been sexually assaulted, but there was evidence of a struggle, Evans said. Because police still were dusting the blood-spattered home for fingerprints yesterday, Clagett's three grown children had not yet been allowed inside to determine if anything was taken, Evans said.
There was no sign of forced entry, but police found the storm door on a side door leading off Clagett's carport unlocked and the door ajar.
"We have no suspects and no motive," Evans said.
Clagett, whose driver's license lists her as 5 feet 2 inches tall and 102 pounds, was discovered Sunday morning when police went to her home after receiving a complaint about her 1994 Oldsmobile Cutlass being abandoned in the parking lot of Good News Bible Church at 17700 Muncaster Rd. The car was unlocked, and there were no keys inside, Evans said.
The pastor of the church said that the car had been parked there since Wednesday evening when he arrived at the church for prayer services.
While police initially believed Clagett's car might have broken down at the church and that she then walked home, they said yesterday it appeared she was surprised in her home and that her killer may have escaped in her car.
Police are asking that anyone who may have seen anyone or anything suspicious in the Muncaster Mill area in the past several days call detectives at 240-773-5070.