• Needham police continue investigating apparent murder of former Russian scientist

    Updated:

    NEEDHAM, Mass. - Police in Needham are continuing to investigate the apparent murder of a former Russian scientist inside her apartment.

    Laura Shifrina, 81, lived a quiet life at the Linden Housing Complex – the place she called home for the past 15 years.

    “It’s difficult to believe,” friend Aleksandr Yufa said.

    News of Shifrina’s death shook friends and family, who said have no idea why someone would want to kill her.

    MORE: Police find 81-year-old Needham homicide victim's car

    Shifrina was the editor for the Massachusetts club for Russian-speaking scientists and Yufa said he started to worry when she didn’t show up for their weekly meeting.

    “She did not appear, and it was suspicious,” Yufa said. “We started to call her. Both numbers.”

    Shifrina lived by herself at the housing complex. Neighbors said they rarely spoke because she only spoke Russian.

    Her daughter went to check on her late Wednesday night and found her dead in her unit.

    “Her daughter had come over to do a well-being check on her mother and discovered her in the apartment,” Norfolk District Attorney Mike Morrissey said. “She was the apparent victim of sharp trauma.”

    Her 2011 Ford Fiesta had been missing for days, but police recovered it in Dorchester on Thursday afternoon.

    “I come every day for lunch,” Mary Riley said. “I turn around in that spoke, so that car hasn’t been there for a couple of days.”

    Now her friends and loved ones are left trying to make sense of the situation.

    Police are continuing to look for the person or people responsible for killing Shifrina, and anyone with information is asked to call police.

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