Woman, 84, beaten to death in home

UPPER DARBY, Pa. - September 11, 2008 Upper Darby Police have obtained several residential search warrants as they look for whoever murdered 84-year-old Jane Morgan. A $5,000 reward has been posted for information leading to the killer.

Morgan lived alone in her apartment just outside downtown Upper Darby since 1971. Police say she was killed inside her fourth floor apartment sometime Sunday night or Monday morning. Her body was discovered Tuesday afternoon by a worker in the building.

It is being described as a heinous murder... and more.

Upper Darby Superintendent Mike Chitwood told the press on Thursday, "It was a brutal, sadistic beating and sexual assault. And I believe, in my opinion, in my experience that the person who committed this heinous crime was an animal."

Police say most of her injuries were internal, that's why it took the medical examiner to determine that this was a homicide. The official cause of death has been ruled suffocation.

Police have obtained search warrants for some of the people who live in the apartment building, some of them sex offenders.

Neighbors and police say she was such a familiar face in the building, she was known to leave her door unlocked. There was no sign of forced entry.

Apartment manager Louise Stromberg said, "This is so devastating to me. We don't have problems here, and that's my biggest thing. I've worked with Upper Darby Police and everybody, and you know, we've got a clean place here. It's been that way for a long time. This is very shocking to me."

Chitwood added, "We feel that whoever was involved in this particular case certainly has knowledge of the building and knowledge of Ms. Morgan. It wasn't somebody coming off the street and breaking into an apartment. Our investigation is confined to the interior of the complex."

If you have information that could lead to the arrest of Jane Morgan's killer you are urged to contact police at (610) 734-7762.

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