Police believe the 50-year-old blind woman found dead and set on fire in a wooded area in Bradenton, Florida was murdered, ABC Action News reported. The victim was identified as Veronica Polite, who was last seen around 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, speaking with a man outside of her home.
At around 1:15 a.m. the following day, Manatee County police discovered her body set on fire in the woods located off the 4600 block of 18th Street East in Bradenton, near a homeless camp.
The victim’s husband, Willie, stated that she became legally blind a few years ago from cataracts and was unable to see anything. He added that she was also unable to do anything because of her disability, not cook, clean, or go to the grocery store on her own.
Willie went on to say that Veronica was only able to walk out of the home and sit on the patio, leading him to believe that someone she knew must have taken her to the wooded area in Bradenton where she was found dead and set on fire.
The Bradenton Herald reported that police say it is unknown at this time how Veronica died, but her remains were transported to a local medical examiner’s office to determine the exact cause of death.
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The autopsy will also determine if Veronica was murdered before her body was set on fire.
Relatives were stunned after learning about her death, including her husband who said he couldn’t believe someone would do this to his wife of 31 years.
Manatee County Police has assured the public that they have no reason to be alarmed by the attack, which may have happened sometime after midnight, as it does not appear to be random. They stated that it is not a coincidence that Veronica was found dead in a wooded area near a homeless camp.
Veronica is remembered by her family as a nice and a “sweet woman.”
Officials are now turning to the public for helping in solving the Bradenton woman’s murder.
Anyone with information regarding the death of Veronica Polite is urged to contact the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office at 941-747-3011 or Crime Stoppers.
An investigation is ongoing.