Updated 07/07/11 – 5:26 p.m.
MERRILLVILLE, Ind. (CBS) — An 80-year-old woman – a longtime teacher in northwestern Indiana – has been found slain inside her home.
As CBS 2’s Mike Puccinelli reports, Anna Schulz, of the 2500 block of West 58th Place in Merrillville, was found dead in her home Wednesday night.
Sources said she was lying face down in her kitchen. Police said their initial investigation shows that the apparent cause of death was trauma to the neck.
Neighbors said they can’t believe it.
Ewald Milisavljevich said he’s lived on the block for more than 50 years and something like this is “unheard of” in the area.
He saw the police cars surround the home Wednesday night, but initially thought they were investigating a car theft.
Finding out on Thursday that it was murder was hard to take.
“It’s a shame. It’s just a shock. She was a very nice person,” said Milisavljevich.
LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Jackie Swike reports
Police said Schulz’s silver 2003 four-door Cadillac Deville was stolen from her driveway. It was registered to Indiana license plate 348-BMR.
Police also said they believe Schulz’s car is still in possession of the killer or killers. While police were searching for Schulz’s killer, her neighbors have to come to terms with how she died.
Denise Brennan paused to stop herself from crying as she recalled her longtime neighbor.
Brennan met Schulz when she bought her house from the former realtor 18 years ago. Schulz welcomed Brennan and her husband to the block with several gifts. It was that kind of generous spirit that Brennan said she’ll sorely miss.
Asked what she’ll miss most about her neighbor, Brennan said, “Just seeing her smiling face and seeing how active she was for her age. … So I was hoping I would be that active when I’m her age.”
Schulz might have been 80 years old, but was not yet ready to retire from her job as a teacher in Gary, Ind., where she taught special education to students at Lew Wallace High School. She planned on being back in the classroom this fall.
Police declined requests to go on camera for this story, but said they have no suspects in custody.
Dive team members surveyed the scene behind the Schulz home on Thursday, but it’s not clear whether any underwater evidence searches are planned.