Cold Cases of the Desert Southwest: Elderly woman sexually assaulted and murdered in her home

YUMA, Ariz. – It was April 16, 1984. Yuma Police discovered an elderly woman, sexually assaulted and murdered.

Seventy-four-year-old Evelyn Halsey lived next door to her sister Lilian. She was an independent woman, did her own yard work and ran her own errands. That’s why Lilian thought it was odd that newspapers were piling up at her sister’s home. After not seeing her for a couple days, she started to worry.

Sergeant Lori Franklin with Yuma Police Department, “Evelyn and her sister didn’t get along really well but she was still concerned, so she contacted ‘Meals on Wheels’ to ask if they would go over to check on her sister.”

The ‘Meals on Wheels’ woman went to Evelyn’s home and knocked on the door. There was no answer. When police arrived, they found her dead in her home with signs of sexual assault. Police say the cause of death was a broken back.

Franklin said, “There were clothing items found outside, blood and drag marks where she was dragged inside.”

Police suspect she was killed outside of her residence dragged inside and left.

Franklin says, “She didn’t have people coming and going, she was an elderly woman living her life.”

Police don’t know the motive, but have ruled out several things including robbery.

Franklin said, “When talking to people in the area, apparently there had been prowlers or ‘peeping Toms’ over the past couple of months and they did arrest someone, but they reported several of them that could’ve been a motive we just don’t know.”

Police say maybe she was hit by a blunt object, based on the injuries to her head and face.

Franklin says they want to give her family closure.

Franklin said, “There is still family out there and friends, just to close the case and give it an ending.”

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