By JEFF HARRELL
South Bend Tribune Staff Writer
10:48 PM EST, January 12, 2012
She had no friends or family to speak of.
Neighbors only knew Lois Hickey by sight.
The 84-year-old Mishawaka woman raked her own leaves, mowed her own
yard, shoveled her own snow and performed all the chores around her
small home on East Donaldson Street without any help or neighborly
Now that Hickey is gone, the murder victim is more noticeable than ever.
"Nobody in this neighborhood has slept not knowing what's going on,"
said neighbor Deb Rowe.
Hickey was found stabbed to death inside her home Dec. 29.
No arrests have been made, but police say they "have leads," one of
which surrounds blood found at the scene that is being analyzed by
"We believe the (suspect) injured himself at some point in that
house," Lt. David Wells, assistant commander of the St. Joseph County
Homicide Unit, told The Tribune last week. "We're hoping to get some
kind of DNA match."
Rowe was among an estimated 30 neighbors and On-Site Ministry members
who braved a biting snowstorm Thursday night to attend a prayer vigil
for Hickey in front of her home on the corner of Donaldson and
"I felt bad," said neighbor Sharon Wiles. "She had no family."
But Hickey had neighbors who regularly "kept an eye" on the
octogenarian whenever they saw her working in her yard or just walking
outside mingling with the neighborhood landscape.
"I'd watch her when she was working back behind her garage," said
"She was always doing something," added Carol Ziegert, "and she always
seemed to be doing stuff on her own."
Now that corner is empty. Neighbors still watch the house, but out of
habit instead of dutiful concern for an elderly woman who appeared to
have the sunset of her life quietly under control.
"I still look out for her every day," Rowe said.
"This is as terrible as it gets," she added. "Why pick on an 84-year-old lady?"
Wells said while investigators pore over evidence found at the murder
scene, police are also seeking the public's help to find Hickey's
"Whoever did this needs to be caught, and we're hoping for the
public's help to continue to work this," Wells said.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at
574-288-STOP or the homicide unit at 574-235-5009.
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