MODESTO -- It had been a terrifying discovery, a woman partially clothed was found dead Friday in an alley on Grape Avenue in Modesto.
Now with her identity confirmed as 41-year-old Jenny Wu, neighbors are saddened and rattled.
“It’s just really nerve-wracking at this point around this neighborhood right now 'cause I was just out here you know,” neighbor Carlos Sandoval said.
Heather Graves, a spokeswoman with the Modesto Police Department, said the suspicious death is now a homicide. She said Wu is originally from the Bay Area but most recently made Modesto her home. Graves did not reveal whether or not Wu was sexually assaulted or if she had been beaten or stabbed,
“Right now it’s too early to tell. They’re still investigating it, so hopefully we’ll have some more information,” Graves said.
Graves also said that around 6 on Thursday night the care facility Wu was living in reported her as missing. Around 2 a.m. on Friday Sandoval said he walked through the alley but did not see anything suspicious. Seven hours later, her half naked body was found.
“And I didn’t see nothing, and that’s what scared me, because I was just walking through that alley,” Sandoval said.
We visited the Modesto Residential Living Center where Wu lived. The center provides care to persons with disabilities. As our cameras rolled, residents were quickly shuffled into the building and we were handed a statement that said:
“From Dennis Monterosa, Administrator and Lena Baldwin, Facility Manager
The staff at Modesto Residential Living Center are deeply saddened for the devastating loss of this special human being. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Wu family during this difficult time. We would like to thank everyone who has supported us and would ask that all media and/or press outlets please respect the privacy of our home, the individuals who are being cared for and the staff who are providing care to persons with disabilities.
We would also like to ask for the assistance of our community in bringing he person(s) responsible for this horrific crime to justice. We would encourage anyone with information regarding this case to please notify (the) Modesto Police Department immediately. Thank you.”
Neighbors we spoke to are highly critical of the center. They claim there’s no structure, no rules and residents are seen on the streets at at odd hours.
“People they get to walk around, they really don’t have a curfew. They’re out here at all hours of the night, they get to go, come as they please,” neighbor Joshua Davis said.
The care center was cited last September for reportedly not treating their clients in a dignified manner.
Although the neighbors we spoke with did not know Wu personally, they did say she was often seen on Evergreen Avenue with her head down, walking up and down the street.
“She was a nice woman. I just hate that it happened to her like that,” neighbor David Banner said.
They also said they’re still shocked by her murder.
“It’s really sad. My heart goes out to the family, it’s just sad,” Sandoval said.
We’ve also been told that the coroner will have to determine a cause of death, which could take week.