An 85-year-old East Mount Airy woman was found dead in the bedroom of her house with her throat slashed and her car missing Monday morning.

Police Capt. James Clark said officers were called to a small brick rancher on the 300 block of Roumfort Road shortly before 11 a.m. and found Regina Brunner Holmes' body. She also had been beaten and stabbed multiple times, Clark said. Her four-door 2007 silver Toyota was missing from her driveway. Police say the car had Pennsylvania license plate number PD1402X.

Clark said the house did not appear to have been ransacked and entrance did not appear to have been forced.

"It was very brutal," Clark said. "I mean, you have an 85-year-old female that can't defend herself. She's beaten and she's stabbed multiple times."

Neighbors said Holmes lived alone, but had a male companion. She worked part time at the Chestnut Hill Local newspaper, they said.

"She would walk around in the morning. She was a nice, sweet lady," said Roy Clarke, 64, who lived two houses down from Holmes for more than 40 years.

Leon A. King, a neighbor of Holmes for 8 years, said his partner at his law firm, Randy Peter Boucher was walking his dog when he noticed newspapers outside of the house that had not been picked up. He picked up the papers and placed them on her doorstep to prevent anyone from believing her house was abandoned.

"When she would go away she would call us and say pick up the mail, watch the newspaper. So he thought it was strange that the newspapers were still there and that she hadn't called and the car was missing," said King.

King says he works from home next door to Holmes and believes he was home when Holmes was brutally murdered, but heard no noise.

"I'm more distraught because part of me feels that I wasn't a good enough neighbor and should have been more attentive," said King.

Police were interviewing neighbors and the woman's two sons at the house late Monday afternoon.

They have asked that anyone with information contact the homicide unit at 215-686-3334 or 215-686-3335.

215-854-2714

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