Neighbor arrested in connection to elderly Ramona woman's death - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Neighbor arrested in connection to elderly Ramona woman's death

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RAMONA (CNS) - A 63-year-old man was in custody Thursday on suspicion of murder in the death of his 94-year-old neighbor in Ramona earlier this week.

Gary Allen Thomas was arrested Wednesday afternoon in connection with the death of Mary Jean Eskridge at the Ramona Terrace Estates in the 1200 block of H Street, said San Diego County sheriff's Lt. Larry Nesbit. Thomas also lives in the mobile home community, he said.

Eskridge, who was still active in church and senior center activities, was found in a bedroom of her mobile home about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday by paramedics responding to an activated medical alert bracelet. Her body bore "obvious signs of trauma," prompting medics to call deputies, Nesbit said.

Authorities declined to disclose a possible motive for the slaying or the nature of the relationship between Thomas and Eskridge. An autopsy was performed Wednesday, but the coroner's report was not immediately released.

Thomas was booked into San Diego Central Jail without bail. He could be arraigned as early as Friday afternoon, according to jail records.

Eskridge, a professional dancer in the big band era, was the longtime owner of Jean's Dance Studio in Spring Valley. The studio is now run by her daughter. She also had three sons.

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