Autopsy confirms 70-year-old Beaufort County woman was victim of homicide

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Updated: Oct. 11, 2019 at 4:35 PM EDT
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BEAUFORT COUNTY, S.C. (WTOC) - Autopsy results have confirmed that 70-year-old Theresa Coker was the victim of a homicide. This comes after her death was ruled suspicious.

Lowcountry neighbors and police are searching for answers.
Lowcountry neighbors and police are searching for answers.(WTOC)

Lowcountry neighbors and police are searching for answers. Neighbors along Polk Street describe Coker as a “wonderful woman”. Investigators are still working the case but no arrests have been made.

Beaufort County investigators say Coker was killed due to blunt force trauma and strangulation.

Coker was found dead in her home on the morning of Oct. 9. Officials say her vehicle, which was not at the home at the time, was found in the Seabrook area on Oct. 10. It has been processed for evidence.

Coker rented the home that she was found dead in. It was employees with the rental company who made the discovery.

“I was dumbfounded," said Gino Iavarone, Coker’s neighbor. "My bedroom window sits on the side of the house that faces her house, so when I wake up in the morning and I look out the window and I see all the police cars and the crime scene unit I was like ‘oh no’”

Gino Iavarone says he helped Coker with her yard work because she lived alone and considered her a friend, though he said she had lived in the neighborhood less than 2 months.

“She was a wonderful woman. We were out here and I’d help her clean up her yard, we gave her furniture to sit on outside, she was feeding my dogs and trying to make friends with them and all of that. What a very wonderful woman she was,” said Iavarone.

He is building a cross to put on the corner in her honor.

According to Coker’s obituary, she was born on February 9, 1949. She left behind a brother, sister, son, daughter, three grandchildren, and one unborn grandchild. The funeral home says she was buried on Tuesday.

“It’s very scary, cause who’s going to be next,” asked Iavarone.

This is an active and ongoing investigation. The department is asking anyone with information to contact Investigator Waddell at 843.322.7974.

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