April 2, 1984 in City

Foul play suspected in woman’s death

The Spokesman-Review
 

An 87-year-old woman was found dead inside her residence Saturday afternoon, the victim of an apparent beating, police said.

Ruby M. Miller, E1504 Riverside, known as “The Cat Lady” by neighbors, was found by police on her bed at 5:10 p.m. Police have no apparent motive for the killing or what type of weapon was used.

An autopsy will probably be performed today, but Coroner Dexter Amend did not know Sunday night which hospital would handle it.

It seemed a large pipe or tool might have been the weapon used in the murder, Amend said. He said Miller did not appear to be molested.

Amend said it could not be determined how long Miller had been dead.

Miller’s residence was broken into, but one police officer who assisted in the case said he didn’t believe the motive was robbery, since Miller had money in her purse when she was found.

The officer, who didn’t want his name used, said Miller was last seen Friday at 3 p.m. He said police were called to Miller’s house by a young man who was concerned about Miller’s welfare. The caller works across the street from Miller’s residence, the officer said.

The officer said Miller was known to have “lots of cats” and said Spokanimal C.A.R.E. was called and picked up three cats and one shepherd-collie mix dog.

Miller at one time had to call the Humane Society when the stray cats got to be too many for her to feed, the officer said.

Miller lived in her house for many years, and the home still stands amid what is largely an industrial area.

The officer said the retired woman occasionally offered her front porch to transients who had no place to sleep.


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