Police seek answers from man seen near dead woman’s home

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NATIONAL CITY, Calif. – Authorities asked the public Monday for help in identifying and locating a man wanted for questioning in connection with the weekend slaying of a 92-year-old woman during a burglary at her South Bay apartment.

Sketch of person of interest in the death investigation in National City. (NCPD)

Sketch of person of interest in the death investigation in National City. (NCPD)

The body of National City resident Maria Rivera was found by her daughter at their rental residence shortly before 6 a.m. Saturday. Lt. Robert Rounds said an autopsy confirmed that Rivera was a homicide victim, but authorities withheld the cause of death, citing concerns about compromising the ongoing investigation.

Detectives determined that Rivera's apartment in the 1100 block of D Avenue had been burglarized, Rounds said.

"The way she died, just heartbreaking she didn't deserve to die like that, she was really nice I remember," said neighbor Carl Coronel.

Residents of the neighborhood near Interstate 5 and East Plaza Boulevard reported seeing a stranger in the area shortly before the discovery of Rivera's body. He was described as a thin, roughly 5-foot-7-inch man of Asian or Pacific Islander descent in his 30s or early 40s, with close-cropped black hair, according to police.

Anyone with information about the case was asked to call the National City Police Department at 619.336-4411.