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Detectives and neighbors are asking themselves why anyone would kill a 71-year-old woman.

Geraldine Joyce McIntyre was found dead in her Capitol Heights home on Chapel Oaks Drive after someone went to check on her welfare Saturday afternoon and discovered her suffering from trauma to her upper body, according to Prince George’s County police.

When police and medical personnel arrived, McIntyre was taken to a nearby hospital, but she later died, police said.

“Everybody has a grandmother so this hits home for all of us,” said Maj. Michael Straughan, who heads the department’s homicide unit. “Obviously when a vulnerable elderly is lost, it becomes a top priority for us. Prince George’s Police Department cannot tolerate somebody doing this to our elderly.”

Straughan would not disclose the relationship between McIntyre and the person who checked on her, but said a “person familiar” to McIntyre had not heard from her and was concerned so they went to check on her and called police when they found her suffering.

Homicide detectives spent Sunday distributing fliers to residents on Chapel Oaks Drive and solicit information to help solve the case. On Monday, police continued the distribution and expanded their outreach to neighboring streets, Straughan said.

Forensic experts searched McIntyre’s single-family house for evidence, police said.

“My grandmother was here for 67 years before she passed away. This just struck me because it’s never happened on this part of the street before,” said Timjuan Simmons, 36, who lives a block away from McIntyre’s home. “That could’ve been my grandmother.”

Another nearby resident said there are mostly seniors in the neighborhood, but said younger generations have been coming to the area.

“Of course this concerns me because contrary to what people think, my neighborhood is pretty quiet,” said Mary Phillips, 70. “I just want to know what the motive is. I think it was probably someone she knew.”

Police have not yet detailed the nature of McIntyre’s “trauma.”

Straughan said it is possible that the alleged suspect knew the victim, but that connection has not yet been verified.

“We’re looking for help from the community,” Straughan said. “This is an established community with a lot of senior citizens. We’re having a lot of good interaction with the community.”

Police are asking anyone with information to call the department’s homicide unit at 301-772-4925 or the county’s Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS to remain anonymous. A $25,000 reward is being offered for tips that may lead to an arrest and indictment of a responsible suspect.

“Every resource of the Prince George’s County Police Department is devoted to solving this case. I am confident we will,” Straughan said.

This story originally appeared in the Feb. 11 edition of the Prince George’s Gazette.