19-year-old suspect accused of killing 83-year-old woman in Tulare County

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Late Monday night, the Tulare County Sheriff's Office received numerous calls about a prowler in a neighborhood on west Addie Avenue, southwest of Tulare. (KFSN)

Late Monday night, the Tulare County Sheriff's Office received numerous calls about a prowler in a neighborhood on west Addie Avenue, southwest of Tulare.

Sheriff's Captain John Gonzalez said the prowler attempted to break into at least one home before being scared off-- he ran away, and deputies arrived.

"They were checking the area and basically saw a subject exit a residence-- they detained him at that time."

Neighbors told deputies a woman lived at the home. Deputies went inside, and found 83-year-old Mary Doris Stief dead.

After detectives determined her death was a homicide, they arrested 19-year-old Bernardo Renova-- the man they detained.

Sheriff's officials are not releasing many details about the case, including how the elderly woman was murdered. They said they do not know what Renova's intentions were when he broke into her home, but believe he chose the house randomly.

"Any crime like this, Sheriff Boudreaux is very concerned on solving it and getting it the suspect in custody," said Gonzalez.

We checked with the Tulare County Superior Court's criminal division. They said Renova has a pending felony vandalism case, with a criminal street gang enhancement. He was scheduled to appear in court last fall, but never showed. A warrant was issued for his arrest, and that warrant is still active.

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office said an autopsy was scheduled for Tuesday. They expect those results to be released sometime Wednesday.
Related Topics:
newshomicide investigationelderly womanTulare CountyTulare
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