PORT ARTHUR, Texas – The bodies of three elderly women were found stuffed in their closets this week, and police arrested a man Friday who they say is a suspect in two of the cases.
The 40-year-old man was arrested in the beating of a 60-year-old woman in her home Thursday night. Police said she identified him as her attacker.
The man was also being questioned in the deaths of two 82-year-old women found late Thursday in their closets in the same neighborhood in this southeastern Texas city. Police said they believe both were victims of foul play but were not apparently shot or stabbed. The women's names have not been released.
The body of a third 82-year-old woman, Dorothy Barrett, was discovered Monday in another Port Arthur neighborhood. She had been kicked and punched, authorities said, and an autopsy showed she died of trauma to the chest.
The woman beaten Thursday, Brenda Choate, told the Beaumont Enterprise (search) that the man broke into her house and caught her as she ran for the door.
"I kicked him as hard as I could and I was just screaming," she said. "What was going through my mind was, 'You fight and you scream.'"
Choate said her attacker fled on a bicycle. Police Maj. Mark Blanton said investigators seized a bicycle they believe the suspect was riding.
The suspect was being held Friday at the Jefferson County (search) jail and was scheduled to appear before a judge later in the morning on a charge of burglary of a habitation and a parole violation.
Port Arthur (search) is a city of 56,000 people about 90 miles east of Houston.