NORTH ADAMS, Mass. –- Officials in Berkshire County say they have ruled the death of an 84-year-old woman in North Adams as a homicide.
The Berkshire County District Attorney's Office tells NEWS10 ABC 84-year-old Ellen Depaoli was found dead inside her Walker Street home Tuesday night.
Police have been stationed outside of 409 Walker Street since they discovered the body of Depaoli dead inside the home around 8 p.m. Tuesday. Police have not released any further details of her death.
Investigators say that they expect an autopsy, to determine the exact cause of death, to be conducted Thursday at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Boston.
North Adams Police as well as Massachusetts State Police are involved in the investigation. Investigators entered the home just after 9 a.m. Wednesday, taking pictures and removing evidence bags.
Neighbors say they are stunned, scared, and want answers.
Valerie Rowe lives just down the street from the crime scene, saying she woke up to chaos on her quiet street.
"This morning when I went to work there was cops up and down the street, all over, there was a lot if commotion going on," she said. "Nothing like this has ever happened around here."
Rowe lived down the street from Depaoli for 27 years and often saw her out for walks.
"Ever since I've been here she's always walking up and down the street, and if I'm in the yard we'd stop and talk," she said.
She describes Depaoli as a caring loving person.
"Very sweet lady, I mean she was like the salt of the earth," she added.
Police are not releasing many details about what happened inside Depaoli's home or if they have any suspects.
Mayor Richard Alcombright spoke to the media on Wednesday, saying there is no threat to public safety and expressing his condolences to the victim's family and friends.
"We need to know, have they caught the person, I do have security in my house, but there's a lot of houses around here that don't, there's a lot of older people that live on this street, and it's scary for them," said Rowe.
autopsy is scheduled for Thursday in Boston. Check back to NEWS10.com for updates.