BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — The coroner's office on Tuesday identified the elderly woman killed in an apparent burglary Monday morning. Her husband survived, and it turns out he is quite a survivor.
Margy Lou Licastro, 84, was found dead in her bed after officers responded to a burglary call. Her husband called police after he heard a break-in around 5 a.m. at the couple's home on the 1900 block of Baker Street.
Her husband, 91-year-old Joe Licastro, is a Pearl Harbor survivor.
Friends and neighbors say the family is devastated by the crimes. "They're just normal people, hit in a very bad way," Glenn Crowson told Eyewitness News Tuesday afternoon.
Crowson said he's been neighbors with the Licastros for about 35 years.
"Margy was a wonderful lady," he said. "Just a nice lady."
Joe Licastro was honored last December as one of two Pearl Harbor survivors still alive in Kern County.
"He is a survivor," Crowson said, with emotion. "He's still a survivor. He's a tough, old bird."
Family members said they didn't want to comment on the crime. Long-time architects in the community told Eyewitness News Licastro was well-known and respected in that field.
Police said Joe Licastro heard the burglar and called police.
"When officers got there they found evidence in the home that suggested somebody was injured," Bakersfield Police Sgt. Mary DeGeare told Eyewitness News. "They asked where his wife was, and at that point he believed that she was sleeping in her room."
DeGeare would only say officers found "blood evidence." It was the officers who discovered the wife had been killed. DeGeare would not describe her injuries or say what weapon was used.
David Webster, 31, was arrested for the crime late Monday night. He had been nabbed down the block from the Licastro home where other neighbors said he was ransacking a house. Webster was arrested for that burglary and then linked to the murder.
"When the homicide investigators searched him, they found him in possession of evidence from the Licastro home," DeGeare said. "And they also found evidence at the Licastro home linking him to the murder." She would not say what that evidence was.
DeGeare confirmed several search warrants were served Monday night, including a search at Webster's home.
A check of a Kern County court Website shows a six cases involving Webster going back to 1999. Most were misdemeanor charges for theft. There was a felony case for selling marijuana in 2001.
Webster is now being held on six charges related to Monday's alleged crimes. The charges include first degree murder, gang participation, possession of drug paraphernalia and burglary.
Webster is expected to be in court on Wednesday.
Neighbor Glenn Crowson said he talked to the Licastro family Tuesday afternoon. "My heart goes out to them," he said.
He was searching for the words to express how horrible the crime was. He finally shook his head, "It's just senseless."