HEDWIG VILLAGE, Texas (FOX 26) - UPDATE: An arrest has been made in Janiele Bernard's murder. Hedwig Village police conducted a news conference on Tuesday evening to announce details on the arrest.
Janiele Bernard would seem like an unlikely candidate to be murdered -- a 79-year-old widow living alone, a former accountant with a passion for ballroom dancing. It makes no sense to anyone who knew her, especially those from her dancing circle.
"Janiele was a very outgoing person and anybody you talk to will say she always had a smile on her face," said dance instructor Phillip Stephens who last saw her on June 20. But police between Sunday afternoon and 12 a.m. Monday, someone stabbed her to death in her Hedwig Village home. The killer or killers took her wallet, her car and left the bedroom of her meticulously-kept home in shambles.
Police are pouring over hours and hours of surveillance camera footage from neighboring homes to see if they captured anyone or anything unusual.
"It's a little bit tedious but it has to be done," said Houston Police Department Officer Terry Wu. "We have to do it. We don't mind as long as we can get something out of it. As long as we can solve this crime." He added that police are running down leads as fast as they can and stepping up patrols to search for the killers and to the soothe the nerves of other residents in the neighborhood. They are also waiting to see if thy can recover any evidence from her car that was stolen and dumped after her death. Police are taking all the solid, routine steps to investigate this crime, one that seems to be anything but routine.
"If she had any problems with someone, she covered them up well," said Stephens. "She was always happy, always smiling, always willing to help people."