A 70-year-old Kansas City grandmother was found dead inside her house and police are investigating her death as a homicide.
Marise Barrett's family celebrated her 70th birthday Saturday at her house on East 33rd Street near Cypress Avenue.
On Sunday, they are gathered together again, but this time they were confused and mourning the woman they called their rock.
Barrett lived her life surrounded by family.
"She was the glue that held this family together. She means everything to everybody," Barrett's great-niece, Christy Wilson, said.
Now, those who love her can't believe they are seeing her home surrounded by crime scene tape.
"The call was just like what? It didn't make any sense to me, and it still doesn't," Wilson said.
Police say Barrett's husband told them he went into her bedroom Sunday morning and found her body. Authorities are not yet releasing the cause of death.
"Just in disbelief and shock," Barrett's granddaughter, Sabrina Barrett, said.
Marise Barrett was the rock of her family, taking in and raising several of her nieces, nephews and grandchildren, along with her own three children.
"She was a mom to everyone, everyone went to her," Sabrina Barrett said.
And that extended beyond family into the neighborhood.
"I'm close to tears because it is bothering me now because I know she's gone," neighbor Darell Kilby said.
She was known to do little the things for her neighbors.
"When I was in the hospital (for) back surgery, she sent me a card and $50. She just helped all she could," Kilby said.
Another neighbor remembers her for her compassion.
"I've got a little doggy here that he sometimes would run away, but he knew where her house was and when we'd find him, that's generally where he would be. That's how she was, she was a caring person," Leon Franklin said.
Marise Barrett was handicapped and wheelchair-bound but still managed to garden. Neighbors saw her out on the warm days last week and a bag of mulch in her front yard shows the plans she had, now cut short in a way no one saw coming.
"Why anybody would do this to her if they did anything to her I don't know why. It doesn't make sense. She was a good woman," Kilby said.
Crime scene investigators were still on scene late Sunday evening processing the house, but did not reveal any new information.
Family members say they saw a window broken out at the back of the house, leading them to question if someone broke in.
The victim's husband was at the home overnight, sleeping in a separate bedroom. He is disabled and legally blind.
The family is asking anyone with information to come forward and call the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS.
Copyright 2013 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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