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Police: Killings Of Elderly Woman, Daughter An Isolated Case

Published On: Aug 18 2011 10:12:25 AM CDT
Updated On: Mar 15 2011 07:00:21 AM CDT
ALBURTIS, Pa. -

Police are calling the murders of two women in Alburtis last week isolated incidents.

But that hasn't stopped neighbors from feeling uneasy.

The bodies of the two women were found Friday in their home here on Cobblestone Court.

In the days since, friends and neighbors have been dropping off flowers as they try to understand what happened here.

The murders of Althea Walbert, 82, and her daughter Jeannette, 59, stunned the small Lehigh County community of Alburtis.

Neighbors say Althea spent her life caring for her mentally disabled daughter in their home.

"She was a very nice woman," said neighbor Jeanne Reddinger. "She always talked to me. Like I said, she's got a great memory because my daughters are 29 and 30 and whenever I'd walk by she'd aske how's Michelle and Lisa doing."

"She talked to everybody," said Jane Hilbert. "If she'd come to the post office and I'd come in, she'd stop and she'd talk."

The Lehigh County Coroner has ruled the deaths homicides but no other information has been released.

That has done little to calm residents' nerves.

"My kids always go to the basketball courts up there and now I won't let 'em. Not right now. Can't trust anybody right now in Alburtis," said Debbie Kontir.

The Walberts owned large amounts of land in the area.

Neighbors believe money was the motive for the killings.

They say Althea was known to carry wads of cash that sometimes spilled from her purse.

"She'd carry a big purse around and if she didn't carry it, her daughter would carry it," said Jane Hilbert.

"If they wanted to rob her, why did they have to murder her," said Reddinger.

Neighbors say they won't be able to relax until the killer is caught.

Police spent much of the afternoon in the neighborhood interviewing residents.

Pennsylvania State Police, Alburtis Police, and the Lehigh County Coroner's Office continue to investigate.