NORWALK (CBSla.com) — A candlelight vigil was held Wednesday by the twin sister, family and friends of a woman who was slain while tending the garden of her Norwalk home.
Denise Battey, who would have been celebrating her 51st birthday today, was remembered by family and friends still trying to come to grips with her death.READ MORE: LA County COVID Vaccination Sites Focusing On Equity, Access
She was tending to her side yard Friday when she was caught off guard, attacked, sexually assaulted and stabbed seven times by an unknown assailant.
The attack occurred Friday morning in the 11000 block of Allard Street
KCAL9’s Juan Fernandez reported from outside the woman’s home and spoke to her distraught family.
Her twin sister, Anise Battey, said, “Her whole legacy was to make other people happy. That’s what she lived for. She was positive. She did not have a negative bone in her body. She didn’t even know what negativity was. And I know that everyone that’s standing here can vouch for that.”READ MORE: Storm Brings Hail, Wet Driving Conditions To Southern California
Captain Patrick Maxwell of the LA County Sheriff’s Department told the assembled crowd that officials were making progress in tracking down the killer. “They are working the case very hard. And they do have a suspect. But at this time they aren’t releasing the name. They don’t want to compromise the investigation. They’re moving forward, even as we speak.”
Battey had retired after a back injury. But family members said she was the type of person who never stopped helping others.
Said her sister, “She was just a wonderful person. She was positive, she was driven, she was goal-oriented. She was about the community, and about assisting people. Most of all, she was about assisting children and helping them with their college educations.”
The victim’s niece, Brittani Norville, asked for witnesses to come forward. “Anyone in this neighborhood who saw anything, heard anything … please call. You will really help us out a lot.”
Community activist Eddie Jones said, “This killer, this predator, needs to be off the streets. Because as long as he is free, there are other people that live in this community that are vulnerable at this particular point.”MORE NEWS: LA Schools To Resume Outdoor Sports; Participants Required To Wear Masks, Undergo Weekly COVID Testing
Friends and family left red candles on Denise Battey’s porch reported Fernandez because “red was her favorite color.”