Police are still investigating the death of 77-year old Johanna Christy, whose dismembered body was found buried in a shallow grave in her own backyard Tuesday.
The Nueces County Medical Examiner's Office is saying that her death was a result of homicidal violence, but the official cause of death will not be known until toxicology results are in.
According to the medical examiner, the body was badly decomposed, making it difficult to determine how she was killed.
Neighbors describe Christy as a kind woman with a big heart.
"She was a very sweet woman," said Katie Christiansen, a neighbor of Christy's. "It is sad what happened to her. I mean it is very unfortunate."
Police were initially called out to Christy's home in the 3800 block of Bentwood Monday evening, after Christy's son, who lives in San Antonio, contacted the Corpus Christi Police Department and told them he had not heard from her in days.
When police knocked on her door, no one answered, but investigators said her walking cane was inside her car, which was sitting in the driveway. Police roped off the area and waited on a search warrant to enter the home.
"The woman is not capable of walking long distances," CCPD Senior Officer Kirk Stowers said. "She wouldn't have gone far without that cane."
Officers tracked down Christy's grandson, 27-year old David Christy, in the 6,400 block of Weber Road. Police said he ran and fought with police. Officers arrested him for assault on a peace officer and evading arrest.
A few hours later, with help from the CCPD's K-9 Unit, officers made a gruesome discovery. Johanna Christy's body was found buried in a shallow grave behind her home.
"I'm shocked. Completely shocked," said Liza Hitt, a neighbor. "I can't even remember the last time I heard of a break in on this street. It's just stuff that doesn't happen. It's kind of scary. It's sad, too, if it's family."
Investigators spent hours collecting evidence and sifting through the scene. According to police, the woman's body was dismembered and bloody.
"This is an unusual event for this area," Stowers said. "We're not used to these types of crimes, for this type of capacity. It's really something."
At this point, David Christy, the victim's grandson, does not face charges for his grandmother's death.
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