BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Bellingham police have ruled the death of a 59-year-old woman as a homicide.
Police said the immediate cause of Abigail D. Gulotta's death was homicidal violence.
Gulotta was found dead inside her basement apartment Sunday morning.
"Of course, all the neighbors have been talking about it," said Terry Harrington, who has lived in the neighborhood for eight years. "Because, you know, this person apparently has not been caught so someone is out there who can do a pretty bad deed."
The incident has rattled Harrington and his neighbors.
Bellingham police said the grisly discovery was made by the victim's coworker when she didn't show up for work. Detectives said the woman had lived alone her about a year and there is no indication that anyone broke in and nothing was stolen.
"There are some things that would lead us to believe that it might be someone that she knew or met, even a recent acquaintance," said Bellingham Police Lt. Bob Vander Yacht. "But we do want the neighborhood to be vigilant."
The woman was last seen Saturday night in picturesque Fairhaven, where she worked in the service industry. Her upstairs neighbor is her landlord but she declined to discuss the murder.
"It's been very hot so we've been sleeping with out windows and doors open," said Harrington. "I sleep on the couch now just in front of the screen door. That's not going to happen now."
Bellingham police said neighbors should remain alert, especially since no one has been arrested. They said they need more leads to find the killer.
Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call Detective Pauline Renick at 360-778-8754 or Bellingham police tip line at 360-778-8611.