CALGARY — Police say they're hunting a killer who beat a 94-year-old woman to death, then set her ablaze in southeastern Alberta.
Investigators say the woman, who was found in an apartment fire Aug. 29, died from multiple blunt injuries inflicted before the blaze was deliberately set.
It's a rare and disturbing crime, said Medicine Hat Police Insp. Glen Motz.
"Elderly people pass away in their homes but this is not normal ... it's certainly unique," he said.
The small fire broke out in a suite in the Finlay Place apartment building in the northeast of the city around 10:30 p.m. last Wednesday.
Though police suspected the fire had been set criminally, they say a medical examiner's autopsy confirmed she'd been beaten to death.
Motz said the fire has so far prevented authorities from making a definite identification of the body, but police believe the blaze was set in the victim's suite.
She's being identified through DNA samples, a process that could yield confirmation in a week, said Motz.
A bigger mystery, he said, is the motivation behind the killing of a senior.
"That's troubling -- the motivation at this point of time is unknown," said Motz.
"We have no suspects and we're trying to put together a complex puzzle."
Police said the victim was active for her age and fairly mobile.
The homicide is Medicine Hat's second of the year.
Medicine Hat is about 290 km southeast of Calgary.