Biloxi police think they found the murder weapon used to bloody Annie Uchello's head. But the suspect is still on the run.
Uchello lived on Miller Street with her grandson. In fact, it was her grandson who called police at 2:46 Saturday morning, after he found Mrs. Uchello clinging to life in her bedroom.
Neighbors say Annie Uchello was like a spring time bud blooming on a tree near her home.
"She's just a really nice lady," Lauren Wahl said.
Wahl lives two doors down from Mrs. Uchello. She was on her way to work early Saturday morning, when police showed up at the corner of Miller Street and Summer Place.
"I said what's the matter. Where's my neighbor," Wahl remembered asking a Biloxi police officer. "And he said well she had a fall. And she's okay."
Police admit the officer said that to keep people calm.
Moments after that encounter, they wrapped yellow crime tape around Uchello's house. Investigators knew they had a mystery to solve.
"Our preliminary investigation reveals that it definitely wasn't a fall that caused injuries to the victim," said Sgt. Bobby Darden.
According to Biloxi detectives, somebody entered Mrs. Uchello's house through a back door. That person then beat the 79 year old in the head with some sort of object. Police think they found the murder weapon. But that was all they would say.
"At this point, we're investigating a homicide in reference to her passing," the detective said.
Uchello didn't die at home. She died a day later at Gulf Coast Medical Center.
Near her home, despondent neighbors didn't know what to say. "I'm in shock because I had no idea of how that could happen to such a nice lady," said Wahl.
Annie Uchello was an active member of Bay Vista Baptist Church. That's where her funeral service will be held this Wednesday at 12:15. She'll be buried at the Biloxi National Cemetery.