CITRUS HEIGHTS, Calif. (KTXL) -- Citrus Heights investigators say a woman found dead in her home Wednesday was dating a man whom officers found hanging from a tree along Interstate 80.
Many neighbors living at the complex where the woman was found did not want to speak on camera. They said they were shocked to learn that her death is now being investigated as a homicide.
“Well your heart goes out to these people,” one neighbor told FOX40.
A light sat on in the window of a condominium on Auburn Oaks Court, where Citrus Heights police say Wednesday they found the body of a woman inside.
“Yesterday, we were alerted to a person down potentially inside a residence on Auburn Oaks Court,” said Citrus Heights Police Lt. Wesley Herman. “Units arrived and did, in fact, confirm that there was a female deceased inside the residence who appeared to have been there for some time.”
Lt. Herman said officials were conducting a welfare check on a woman inside the home when the discovery was made. She had been dead for an undisclosed number of days and was last seen alive around Jan. 8.
They said the woman had signs of significant trauma to her body.
“During the course of our investigation several factors led us to believe that this was, in fact, a homicide,” Herman told FOX40.
#NEW: Police say the woman was in a “dating” relationship with a 59 y/o man - identified by the Sacramento County Coroner’s office as Robert Rankin - who was found dead by CHP officials Saturday near EB I-80. @FOX40
— Charmaine Nero (@CNeroTV) January 17, 2020
On Saturday, the California Highway Patrol launched an investigation after a man was found hanging from a tree branch along an I-80 embankment in an apparent suicide. The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office later identified him as 59-year-old Robert Rankin.
Lt. Herman confirmed Rankin and the woman were in a “dating” relationship.
“We know the two of them did live there and I believe that was off and on,” he said.
Many neighbors living in the complex said the couple kept to themselves.
One neighbor who lives nearby told FOX40 he was shocked something like this happened in a neighboring complex.
“Those are more closed off than anything else so you thought it would be more secure than the others,” he said. “Because of how things are getting, you know, it’s possible.”
What led to the woman's death is still being investigated. However, Citrus Heights police report it was an isolated incident.
“Because you don’t know them but you're like I think they have family,” a neighbor said.
This story is developing.