Deputies following on leads in Berkeley murder

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — An autopsy reveals an elderly Martinsburg woman died a brutal death at the hands of a killer. Martha Tyler, 72, was found dead Saturday with her hands bound and a bag over her head.

“The cause of death is strangulation and suffocation,” said Berkeley County Sheriff’s Department Chief Deputy Gary Harmison.

Harmison said they believe the incident happened early Saturday morning, but are still unsure of a motive. Although Tyler had valuables in the home, none had been touched and there was no sign of forced entry.

“Our theory is she either knew the person or she let the person in under some pretext because there was no forced entry,” he said. “The family did a walk through and as far as we know, nothing was taken. She had computers, jewelery and everything appeared intact.”

About two weeks ago somebody kicked in the door of Tyler’s home and she was robbed. The door had been repaired from the incident, but it’s unclear if the murder and the break-in are connected.  Tyler was a widow and her husband died about a year ago. She had a pet dog which was with her when she was discovered.

“We do have some leads we’re following up on,” Harmison said. “We have a person we’re looking at.”


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