Authorities were preparing to search the Douglasville apartment where 75-year-old Florene Duke was found dead and hog-tied earlier in Monday evening. (BEN GRAY / BGRAY@AJC.COM)

Douglasville woman, 75, found hog-tied, dead inside apartment

A 75-year-old Douglas County woman who had been hog-tied was found dead inside her apartment Monday night, according to police.

The victim’s grandson told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about the phone call he received.

“Somebody gave me a call and said, ‘Was it true?’ I asked, ‘What is true?’ ” Chris Duke said. “They said, ‘Did somebody go in [her] house and kill her?’”

Chris Duke and other relatives identified the victim as his grandmother Florene Duke.

“Why would someone do this to my grandmama? I didn’t believe it, because my grandmama wouldn’t hurt a fly,” he said.

The woman was found in her Countryside Manor apartment on Selman Drive around 6 p.m., Douglasville police Chief Chris Womack told The AJC.

Womack said she was last seen alive around 9 a.m. Monday.

Chris Duke said his sister had been trying to reach their grandmother by phone earlier in the day, and she later found her body.

Investigators have not yet determined how Florene Duke was killed or a motive, Womack said, but some items appeared to have been removed from the apartment.

“The family member went through there and said they saw a couple of TVs missing,” Womack said.

Officers were canvassing the area and interviewing others in the complex, located about a half-mile from Douglas County High School.

No suspects had been identified, Womack said.

“We’ve had a few homicides this year. It’s been a rough year for Douglasville and Douglas County,” Womack said. “[But] we’ve been able to close them out.

“Right now, we don’t have a whole lot that we’re going on,” he added. “We’ve had a couple [of officers] canvass the area. We’ve had a couple possible vehicles that we’re starting to look at hard that may not have should have been here or had no explanation as to why they were here.”

Womack said detectives from his department as well as the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office are working together to determine who may have harmed a woman considered friendly by many.

“From everyone we’ve talked to, from neighbors and family, [she] was like everybody’s granny, that always took care of everybody, that would let people come in and stay with her if they didn’t have a place to stay, so it’s just senseless,” he said. “We want to jump on this fast and hard, and bring somebody to justice for this.

“This is pitiful, terrible.”

Chris Duke said his grandmother had lived in the apartment complex for about five years. She was someone who would walk her little dog twice a day and spend time sitting on the couch to watch TV.

He said she was known as someone who would help anybody, and someone she may have wanted to help may have been the one who killed her.

“She was just a kind woman,” he said. “She would open her door to anyone.”

He hopes that authorities find whoever is responsible for his grandmother’s death.

“They need to be off the street, whoever did it,” he said.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.