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Elderly Dallas Woman Found Dead In Apparent Botched Burglary

By Ryan Crowe & Susy Solis, CBSDFW.com

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updated 3/11 4:45 p.m.

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A welfare check for an elderly Dallas woman leads police to begin searching for a possible murder suspect.

Dallas Police went to the home in the 11300 block of Earlywood Drive in the Lockwood neighborhood after receiving a call that the woman who lived in the home had not been seen for several days.

Upon arrival, officers found the back door open and found the 79-year-old woman dead.  A police press release says there were signs that lead them to believe someone had broken into the house, but it is unknown what was stolen.

There are no witnesses in the case, and investigators are asking for neighbors to call police if they remember having seen anything unusual over the past few days.

The press release asked for neighbors to specifically call Detective Scott Sayers at (214) 671-3647.

The woman has been identified as Avanell Cowgill.

Late Sunday afternoon Oak Farms Dairy announced they are offering a $10,000 reward in the case.  On Monday Crimestoppers added $5,000 to the reward.

Cowgill was last seen Thursday after she left her church, Casa Linda United Methodist, where she was a regular volunteer.

Police believe she was murdered sometime between Thursday night to Friday morning.  On Monday they described the scene as ‘brutal and violent’ and still did not know a motive.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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