BOSTON - A woman who was found dead in the middle of the street after suffering apparent head trauma is now at the center of a death investigation, police said.
Boston Police are asking the public to come forward with any information on the incident that led to the woman's death in the city's Mattapan neighborhood, Boston Police Superintendent Paul Donovan told reporters during a press conference late Thursday afternoon.
The woman's death was initially thought to be the result of a fatal car accident.
Donovan said it is unclear what caused the woman's fatal injuries.
She was found at the intersection of Hiawatha and Fottler roads in Mattapan shortly before 3:30 p.m. Thursday.
BPD calling Mattapan scene a “death investigation”. Woman found deceased in road suffered apparent head trauma but unclear what caused injuries. Witnesses asked to come forward #Boston25 pic.twitter.com/BTr2Cj7DHC— Drew Karedes (@DrewKaredes) May 16, 2019
The woman's death stunned neighbors.
"This is her home for many years and she’s nice to everybody," said Purple Branch, who saw the fatally-injured woman and ran to help.
“No one should go out by themselves like that, no one should go out alone and I sat there and waited for them to take her away," Branch said.
Jonathan Mercado, 11, said the woman was was like family.
"Most of the time she was giving us stuff, taking care of us when our parents weren’t home," Mercado said. "She was always nice. It was heartbreaking for me to hear that she passed away."
His older brother, Joshua Mercado, 12, said the woman "was almost like our grandmother. She would very much take care of us."
Donna Moon claims she saw the woman fall, hitting her head on the concrete. But what happened after that is uncertain.
“She went forward and back and fell face first," Moon said. "As soon as I seen her fall I called 911. It didn’t look like she was moving."
Moon said others were not as quick to help the woman.
“There was like 10 to 20 people standing there but no one would see if she was okay or nothing," she said.
Donovan said they are interviewing witnesses as part of their investigation.
Police responded to a report of an unconscious female on street pavement around 3:22 p.m., Donovan said.
When officers arrived, they found the woman in the street, suffering from head trauma and fatally injured. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Donovan said they looking for any surveillance video that may have captured the incident that led to the woman's death as part of their investigation.
Police are asking the public to call them with any information, at 800-494-TIPS.
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