LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- A man forced his way into a woman's apartment and demanded money and jewelry before punching her in the face several times, according to a police report.
Between 5:18 a.m. and 5:49 a.m. on April 21, Henderson police were called to the Galleria Palms and Palm Villas apartment complexes near Sunset Road and Whitney Ranch Drive. In the first incident, a man was seen using a flashlight to look inside parked vehicles but had gone when police arrived.
In the second, the man, later identified as 27-year-old Demetrius Walker, knocked on a woman's door asking for a glass of water. When she denied entry, Walker forced his way in, and punched her in the face several times, causing fracturing her face and brain bleed.
The woman was taken to Sunrise Hospital where she was intubated and listed in critical condition. Ultimately, she died of her injuries. She was 85.
She was identified by the Clark County coroner on Wednesday as Mary Lacella, from Henderson. She died of complications from blunt force injuries to the head.
Walker told police he thought the apartment was empty before he forced entry. Lacella's scream startled the man, he said, so he punched her.
During an investigation, police worked with a nearby 7-Eleven, where the suspect had reportedly stolen "several food items," to obtain surveillance footage and positively identify the suspect through a Facebook page, which the store clerk had access to. They contacted Walker's girlfriend, but could not find the man.
On the day of the attack, Walker was seen on camera carrying a crowbar, wearing an orange bandana, red sweatshirt, jeans and black tennis shoes.
Later, Walker, also known as "Pharaoh," was found at another disturbance, which led to his arrest. Police were able to match his description with surveillance video and the victim's testimony.
Evidence at the scene also indicated Walker had broken into a parked vehicle near the home invasion. He took a silver cup belonging to another woman in the area. However, despite demanding money and jewelry from the elderly woman, he left the scene without taking anything.
According to police, Walker has a record of previous crimes and arrests. In this case, he was arrested on charges of attempted murder, attempted robbery and home invasion. He was booked at Henderson Detention Center.
Henderson police have investigated six homicides so far in 2021.
If the public has information on the case they are urged to call the Henderson Police Department at 702-267-4911, 3-1-1, or to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 702-385-5555 or visit Crime Stoppers website.