WASHINGTON — After a fire broke out in a Chillum, Maryland, home, an elderly woman was found dead inside, and now police are investigating her death as a homicide.
First responders discovered Jeanette Goines, 76, after a fire at her house in the 1400 block of Ray Road on the morning of April 14. She was found dead and badly burned, Prince George’s County police said, and officials couldn’t identify her at the time.
Fire officials also found evidence of forced entry into the home.
But when patrol officers responded to the home for a residential alarm call that same morning before the fire broke out, there weren’t any signs of forced entry or a fire, police said.
Goines was positively identified through dental records after the office of the chief medical examiner in Baltimore conducted an autopsy, which also revealed the cause of death as blunt force trauma. Her death was ruled a homicide; she died before the fire, police said.
“She was awesome,” Regina Ward, who grew up next door to the victim, told WTOP back in April. Ward also described Goines as “strong as an ox,” saying the 76-year-old mowed her own lawn and shoveled her own snow.
“She had a routine … Every day, she would walk around the neighborhood,” Ward said. “Every day, she would check on everybody … You could depend on her for everything. Just a very great person all around.”
Police are asking anyone with information about this case to call the homicide unit at 301-772-4925.
WTOP’s Nahal Amouzadeh and John Domen contributed to this report.