Police investigate injuries to Marble Hill woman - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Police investigate injuries to Marble Hill woman

MARBLE HILL, MO (KFVS) -

Was it an accident, or did someone brutally beat and leave an elderly woman to die?

That's what family members and Marble Hill Police are trying to figure out.

On September 6, 2011 89-year-old Marie Neitzer was found unconscious at bottom of her basement steps.

She's in the hospital with multiple injuries.

"She has a broken femur on the left side, the whole side of her face from the center of her forehead is swollen and bruised," said Jim Byland,Neitzer's son-in-law. 

The big question is did she fall down the stairs, or was she beaten and pushed down the stairs?

Marble Hill police say chief Dennis Willis says his department is investigating. "At this point we're not 100 percent sure, but it looks like it was an accident," said Willis.

Family members aren't completely sure either, but say something isn't right.

"They say it was an accident, but it doesn't explain her purse missing, dresser drawers were pulled out, jewelry also was ran through," said Byland. "She also wore a gold chain, and it is missing." 

He says things were scattered throughout the house, plus random pills were emptied on the bathroom counter.

"There's a lot of unanswered questions," said Byland. 

Neighbors also have questions.

"It's scary," said Sonja Hicks.

It's the fear of not knowing whether she was attacked, or simply fell.

"Until they know for sure, I don't take any chances," said Hicks. "I'm locking my doors more often and keeping my car locked when I'm driving home at night things I never did before."

As police continue investigating, family members continue to ask questions and hope when Mrs. Neitzer wakes up she'll be able to remember what happened.

"This whole thing doesn't make sense," said Byland. 

Family members say doctors tell them Neitzer's injuries are not consistent with a fall. The elderly woman has a public administrator. Larry Welker tells Heartland News he too has questions, but says doctors told him it's too hard to tell for sure how Mrs. Neitzer received her injuries.

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