Cops: 89-year-old woman stabbed to death

An elderly Lansdowne woman who was initially believed to have died from a fall down her stairs was actually stabbed to death, according to police.

Bruna Cossavella, of Plumstead Avenue near Crawford, was found by a family member in her home last Wednesday after neighbors called the relative to report they hadn't been able to reach Cossavella, police said.

The relative, whom police did not identify, found Cossavella at the bottom of her basements steps surrounded by a large pool of blood, according to police. She was taken to Mercy Fitzgerald Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Police said that because of the large amount of blood that was on and around Cossavella, they were not able to immediately figure out how she was hurt or if she had fallen down the steps. It was only after a subsequent autopsy at the Delaware County Medical Examiner's Office on Saturday that the cause of death was determined to be "stab/incised wounds of neck associated with blunt force head injuries."

Now, police are trying to figure out who would want the elderly Cossavella dead and who could commit such a brutal crime. There were no signs of forced entry to her house and police did not immediately report that anything appeared to be stolen.

Anyone with information on the crime is urged to call the Lansdowne Police Department at 610.623-0700/