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By Todd Quinones

PAULSBORO, N.J. (CBS) — Police in Gloucester County have identified a person of interest in the murder of an elderly Paulsboro woman.

According to the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office, 79-year-old Thriza Sweeten was found dead in her home at about 6 p.m. Monday when her daughter went to check on her. Authorities say Mrs. Sweeten’s body had visible injuries.

“She said she looked like she was beaten, and punched in the face. That’s all she said. Her eyes were puffy and she had a gash on her head,” Sweeten’s son-in-law Derrick Montalto said.

Investigators spent part of Tuesday combing through her yard searching for evidence.

Her son says Sweeten had a history of heart troubles and was just released from the hospital last week.

“My mom was very nice. She always helped people out with money. My mom was really nice. She didn’t deserve to die like this,” said Barry Sweeten.

She was last seen alive at 11 p.m. Sunday.

Her family indicates earlier in the weekend she got into an argument with a man who had been hanging around with a friend of Sweeten’s son.

That friend had at times stayed with Sweeten at her home on Delaware Street, and according to her family, Sweeten told the friend’s acquaintance to leave her home or that she would call police.

Sweeten spent her career as a registered nurse. She was known as someone who would always look out for others.

“That lady was harmless. She would give you the shirt off her back,” said family friend Robert Jones.

At this point, police have not released the name of the person of interest in the case. So far, no arrests have been made.

Anyone with information on this homicide is urged to contact the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office major crimes unit at (856) 384-5500 or the Paulsboro Police Department at 856-423-1101. Anonymous tips can also be sent in via text message: Text GLOTIP and your message to CRIMES (274637).

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