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Officials ID Woman Found Slain in Arcadia Backyard as Questions Surround Her Killing

The coroner's office on Wednesday released the name of the woman found dead in the backyard of her Arcadia home as questions continue to surround the killing.

Police investigate a home in Arcadia on April 9, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

Police investigate a home in Arcadia on April 9, 2018. (Credit: KTLA)

The victim's body was discovered in the 300 block of East Forest Avenue on Tuesday morning.

She was identified as Chyong Jen Tsaia by Sarah Ardalani, the spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner.

An autopsy is pending and will determine the cause of death.

"There's no obvious trauma, there is blood around the crime scene, but no trauma that we can determine at the time," said Sgt. Richard Biddle of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

Although it is unknown how she died, investigators have developed enough evidence to indicate the 76-year-old was the victim of a homicide, he said.

It was also not immediately known when she was killed. Investigators do have information that Tsai was alive Monday night, so they believe the homicide took place sometime overnight.

Her SUV was also discovered missing, sheriff's officials said in a "special bulletin." The vehicle -- believed to have been stolen -- is described as a white 2005 Lexus RX 300 with a California license plate No. of 5LOG473.

A neighbor told KTLA the victim's home had been burglarized recently.

"She had been robbed ... I think it was last week. They broke in and took the tools of the contractor," Diana Leach said.

The woman -- a wife, mother and grandmother -- lived with her husband, but he was out of the country, according to neighbors.

Their home was in the process of being remodeled, and construction workers were the ones who found her body on the lawn when they showed up for work around 7 a.m., Biddle said.

The couple's dog was found at the scene unharmed.

A suspect has not been identified, but the the victim's relatives or construction workers are not believed to have been involved, according to the sergeant.

Investigators are looking for possible surveillance video as they tried to piece together the timeline of events.

They are also trying to determine a motive for the killing, which has left the community shaken and stunned.

"I saw her just the other morning, and she's always either talking to her gardeners and being very gregarious, and I see her with her Cocker Spaniel coming out," Lois Longo told KTLA on Wednesday morning. "It's an eerie feeling."

"I can't believe it. Just can't believe it," Leach added. "It makes me wonder, who in the world would want to do this to someone as sweet as she was?"

Anyone with information about the homicide or who spots the Lexus is asked to call the sheriff's Homicide Bureau at 323-890-5500.

Anonymous tips can also be left through Crime Stoppers by dialing 800-222-8477 or going to the website http://lacrimestoppers.org.

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