A woman who was found dead in an Arcadia back yard Tuesday morning was the victim of a homicide and authorities are now looking for her stolen Lexus, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.
Arcadia police responded to the scene in the 300 block of East Forest Avenue about 7 a.m., officials said, though there were conflicting reports from authorities as to when the body was found.
Investigators have information indicating the woman was alive Monday night, but a member of a construction crew working at the home found her dead Tuesday morning, Sheriff's Sgt. Richard Biddle said.
In an updated "special bulletin," sheriff's officials said the victim's car, a white 2005 Lexus RX 300, was stolen "at the time of her murder." The license plate number is 5LOG473.
Officials described the victim as a 76-year-old Asian woman. Her name was not being released, pending the notification of her next of kin.
Her cause of death has not yet been determined.
However, deputies uncovered evidence “that clearly leads us to believe that she was murdered” while processing the scene, Biddle said.
The evidence was found both in the rear yard and inside the house, where a family dog was also found unharmed, according to the sergeant.
Neighbor Diana Leach described the victim as friendly and caring.
"She's the sweetest lady," Leach said. "She would do anything for anybody. I just lost my dad, and she was right here the minute I lost him. That was just a couple of weeks ago."
A neighbor said the woman lived at the home with her husband, but he is out of the country.
"She Loved her family her children and little grandson. He’s gonna be devastated when he finds out," Leach said.
A motive is still unknown, but neither the victim's family nor construction crew are believed to be involved, Biddle said.
He added that investigators were looking for possible surveillance video and attempting to figure out a timeline of events.
Anyone with information about the victim or the incident can call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.