CALIFORNIA BOROUGH (KDKA) — The community of Coal Center is on edge following the murder of an elderly woman.

Evelyn Stepko, 92, was found dead inside her home at 1076 Pike Run Drive on Monday.

“It’s usually quiet,” Jim Noro, who delivers the Valley News Dispatch, said. “Very surprising to see something like this down here.”

Neighbors called police after they hadn’t seen Stepko. Police found her body. She was stabbed twice.

“It’s scary to think that something like that happened in this area because we’ve never had anything happen,” Deborah Heckler, of Smallwood, said. “We’ve had problems in town with the university, but nothing out here in this neighborhood, so it’s something to be concerned about.”

Officials say there have been several burglaries in the neighborhood recently and that Stepko was a burglary victim.

Police say Stepko lived in fear.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Michael Thomas, a neighbor, said. “I mean, for somebody to bother her. Like I [said], she in the afternoon would walk up the hill, go to the store, come back. Then she’d roam around here and as soon as it got dark, she went to sleep.”

Investigators say this is now a Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers case. Anyone with information is asked to call Pennsylvania State Police.

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