The 96 year old woman from Newberry who was brutally attacked in July, died today...
A 96 year old woman from Newberry who was savagely beaten in her home in July has passed away.
Since the attack Lila Leach had been on life support and yesterday the life support was removed. Early this morning she passed away with family at her bedside.
It's a crime that the community is still reeling from, especially now that a beloved mother and grandmother has passed away at the age of 96.
Lieutenant Steve Maynard with the Alachua County Sheriff's Office said, "The individual could've just gone inside and taken whatever they wanted to take...it was completely unnecessary to injure that woman in the fashion she was injured..."
The attack happened in broad daylight, as the intruder entered Lila Leach's home at 322 Northwest 259th Terrace in Newberry. The person attacked Leach in the living room, taking her walker and eventually leaving her for dead in her bedroom.
The victim's daughter, Elaine May, found her when she made one of her daily stops by the home. Her mother had been beaten so severely that she was barely recognizable and May called 9-1-1.
After Leach was rushed to the hospital, investigators were able to communicate with her non-verbally for a short time. Lieutenant Maynard said that the community needs closure and is confident that the person responsible will be found. He said, "We take crimes like this personal. I spoke to the detective this morning, uh, she's very upset about Ms. Leach's passing. Detective Phillips is actually adamant that this crime is going to be solved and we're gonna get some justice for this family and some justice for Ms. Leach."
An autopsy will be conducted within the next few days to officially determine the cause of death.
The Alachua County Sheriff's Office said that if the attack directly or indirectly resulted in Lila Leach's death, then instead of home invasion, robbery & aggravated battery, it will become a homicide investigation.
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