HARLINGEN - Police said foul play was involved in the death of a woman whose body was found stuffed into a refrigerator at the Bonita Park apartments.
A source at the scene who did not want to be identified said that the woman's body was found in the refrigerator, but police would not confirm where inside the apartment the body was found.
Police Capt. Hector Leal said police responded to a welfare concern call around 3:50 p.m. Monday from a family member who had been trying to contact the woman several times that day.
"It was a murder. There's no other way to put it," Leal said. "This is pretty serious stuff."
Investigators from the Cameron County District Attorney's office and the Department of Public Safety also responded to the housing project when the woman's body was found.
"You could tell she had been dead for more than a couple hours," Leal said. "It wasn't something that had just happened."
Police would not identify the dead woman but did say she was between 30 and 40 years old.
There was no evidence of gunshot wounds to the woman's body but it did show bruising, Leal said adding, "So there was foul play."
Police expect to have a preliminary autopsy report today.
Neighbor Rosenda Zuniga said that she knew the dead woman only as Rosie, and that the woman had been living alone for about a month in apartment 1 at the housing project at 601 S. Rangerville Rd.
"She was very calm, she never bothered anybody," Zuniga said. "She was nice. Sometimes she would come over to ask me for a cigarette."
"I don't know why this happened to her," Zuniga added. "Whoever did this to her does not deserve forgiveness from God."
Another neighbor, Maria Vela, said that the last time she saw the woman was at about 2 p.m. Saturday when the woman was taking out the trash.
A woman who identified herself as a family friend but did not want to give her name, said the dead woman had four children ranging in ages from 16 years old to 3 months old. The woman, however, did not have custody of her children, the family friend added.
Leal said police are gathering information from the woman's family, friends and neighbors and could have more information Tuesday.