(Photo: Screen Grab via Miami Herald)
A Miami Gardens community in Florida is now grieving the death of a retired 70-year-old Christian preacher and her 20-year-old grandson after they were found executed in the modest home she lived in for 50 years on Tuesday.
Although an administrator at the Jesus People Ministries Church International where she reportedly ministered could only verify that Annette Anderson was an "ex-member" of the church, Pastor Virgil Walker, a brother of Anderson's son-in-law, told The Christian Post on Wednesday that she left the church about four years ago and was keeping regular Bible study sessions in the house where she was murdered.
When asked how the family was doing, he asked: "what do you think?" and let silence convey the rest.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Walker grieved openly and asked the public to help find the killer of the preacher and his nephew.
"What kind of person or group of people who would kill an elderly woman who is 70 who worked so hard for the advancement of people also in the community in which she lived and her grandson, my nephew who came down from Jacksonville to go school?" a bewildered Walker asked.
In a Miami Herald report on Tuesday, police said someone bound and gagged the 70-year-old woman and her grandson, Tyrone Walker, with duct tape then shot them "execution style."
"She was a person who did not live a hazardous lifestyle," said Walker, who believes the preacher knew her killer told the Miami Herald. "I don't know why else she would open the door."
"These are not two- or three-billion dollar homes in this neighborhood. These are average homes," he noted, suggesting the robbery could not have been a motive for the gruesome murders.
It was a concerned neighbor who noticed that Anderson missed church on Sunday and was missing on Monday. She called police and they arrived at the "tidy yellow house" on 207th Street in Miami Gardens at about 9:30 a.m. on Tuesday.
The bodies were discovered by Anderson's son, Jack Harris, who opened the house for police to do a security check.
"We are conducting this investigation as a homicide," Detective Michael Wright told the Herald. "It's a very sensitive case so we want to make sure to cross our t's and dot our i's."
Young Tyrone Walker's father said his son was "a young happy guy, someone who wouldn't hurt anyone."
"He was big," said the elder Walker. "Just because he was big, most people were intimidated by him, but he would never hurt anyone."
Nicknamed TJ, young Walker had been in South Florida only three months since moving from Jacksonville to attend ITT Tech.
"It's too close to home," neighbor Keino Dobson told the Herald. "She was a good woman. Most people here grew up together. Her kids grew up with me."
Miami Gardens Mayor Oliver Gilbert said Anderson was "a ray of sunshine" and the city would do its best to find the perpetrators of the crime.
"We will dedicate every resource available," said Gilbert. "I won't comment on the investigation because it's an investigation and we want to actually catch them."