Arrest made in killing of Bradenton woman, 79

Posted by JASON BARTOLONE on May 3, 2014 

An arrest has been made in the killing of a 79-year-old Bradenton woman, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office said Saturday.

Detectives arrested Richard W. Matthews Jr., 32, of Bradenton, and charged him with murder and burglary in connection with the death of Helen Vanorden.

The woman was found dead in her home in the Burgundy Apartments, 204 46th Avenue Terrace West, Friday night by her son, who went to check on her, according to a sheriff's report.

"The motive appears to be burglary," sheriff's office spokesman Dave Bristow wrote in a media release. "Matthews knew of the victim through a family member of the victim.

Further details would be released at a later time, Bristow said.

The initial report called the woman's death "suspicious." Vanorden had no major health issues, the report states. Her son had last talked to her on Thursday.

Preliminary results of an autopsy performed Saturday showed the manner of death is homicide, the sheriff's office said. The cause of death was not immediately released.

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