Kevin Duncan of Muffley Funeral Home (center) removes the body of Essie Thomas, 75, from her home at 716 W. Grand Ave. on Wednesday as Agent Roman Romero of Clovis police follows behind. (Staff photo: Mike Linn)
By Mike Linn: CNJ news editor
Police are investigating the death of an elderly Clovis woman as a homicide, and plan to charge a man today in connection with her death, officials said.
Essie Thomas, 75, was found dead in the bathroom of her home at 716 Grand Ave. on Tuesday evening with injuries that led police to believe foul play was involved in her death, officials said.
Police said Wednesday the woman wasn’t shot or stabbed, but declined to release details about her injuries.
A suspect in the crime has been charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and tampering with evidence, Detective Roger Grah of the Clovis Police Department said.
The man, 55, was apprehended Tuesday evening near 309 Thornton St. after police responded to a call in the area, Agent Roman Romero of Clovis police said. During his arrest the suspect informed police he had swallowed 10 rocks of crack cocaine, Romero said, and he was held overnight at Plains Regional Medical Center. The man was still at the hospital as of 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
District Attorney Matthew Chandler said the man will likely be charged in the death this morning.
“The police department will continue to investigate. They’re going to look at different types of forensic evidence and present it to our office for review (this morning),” Chandler said.
Police say members of Thomas’ family called police Tuesday to check on her after they were unable to reach her. Police said the time of death is still unknown.
Emma Archie said she last heard from her aunt on Christmas. She described her aunt as an outgoing woman who dedicated her life to God and enjoyed taking fellow senior citizens on errands.
If ruled a homicide, it would be the 10th of the year in Clovis.
“It’s tough enough to deal with this as citizens,” Archie said, “when it hits home it’s so much worse.”