Police Make Arrest in Murder of Gwinnett Senior Citizen

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Police have released the heartbreaking 911 call after family members found 77-year-old Margaret Sheffield dead in her Gwinnett County home.

James Watkins, 16, was arrest late last week for the murder, according to police.

Investigators believe that Watkins stabbed Sheffield. They believe the motive for the murder was theft. Officers say Watkins lived in the same neighborhood as the victim and knew her. He is currently being held in the Gainsville RYDC and charged with Felony Murder, Aggravated Assault and Burglary.

Investigators say this all started just before 11 a.m. Friday. That's when a family member discovered Sheffield dead in her home, covered in blood.

The Gwinnett County Police said they began investigating the homicide inside the home in the 2600 block of Track Way. Family members told police that they lost contact with the woman, who lives on her own, for a whole day before discovering her dead inside her home. Officers described the scene as gruesome.

"I haven't been inside the house, but I have been told [by investigators] that there is a lot of blood inside the house," said Cpl. Michele Pihera.

Police canvassed the neighborhood to see if anyone saw anything.

"Right now, we don't know how she got her injuries. We don't know if it is a shooting or a stabbing or an assault. That's something that our crime scene officers and our crime scene unit is here to investigate," said Cpl. Pihera. "Once we get in there, start taking photographs, we're able to move the body, they'll be able to get a clear idea as to her likely cause of death, but ultimately, it won't be able to decided upon an autopsy is conducted."

Cpl. Pihera said that the injuries are not consistent with a fall. An autopsy has been scheduled with the Medical Examiner’s Office. The case is being treated as a homicide investigation.

"We have a lot of family members here who are very concerned about figuring out who is responsible for this and ultimately bringing them to justice," said Cpl. Pihera.

Anyone with further information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 404 577-TIPS.