A 60-year-old homeless woman was fatally stabbed outside a 99 Cents Only store in Corona Thursday and a man was taken into custody, witnesses and police said.
Police were called the store — in a strip mall at Sixth and Main streets — about 11 a.m. for a report of a stabbing.
Officers found a woman who had been stabbed and appeared to have been beaten.
The victim was taken to Corona Regional Hospital, where she later died, according to a Corona Police Department news release.
A 54-year-old local transient man with a knife on him was detained about two blocks east of the crime scene, police said.
Witnesses and others on scene said the victim was a well-known figure in the area, a homeless woman who regularly sat on a bench in front of the strip mall.
Balloons and flowers were left at the bench, where a group gathered Thursday afternoon and evening.
"I saw her every day," Corona resident Shelli Anderson said. "Every morning and every afternoon ... always on that bench."
Anderson said she saw the victim inside the 99-cent store a few times.
"She was always very gracious and sweet and didn't want any help from anybody," she said. "It's just horrible."
Another Corona resident said people tried to buy her overnight stays at a hotel, but the woman wanted to stay at the bench so she could be "close to God."
Police on scene confirmed the victim was indeed a 60-year-old homeless woman who sat on the bench every day.
They did not release her name pending family notification, nor did they identify the suspect.
"The victim never caused any problems to anybody. Not to police and to our citizens," Corona police Sgt. Paul Mercado said. "She truly is a victim in this crime."
Detectives remained on scene as of early evening. Evidence markers were placed in the parking lot, where the victim's belongings were left on the pavement.