By Beth Germano, WBZ-TVBy Beth Germano

FAIRHAVEN (CBS) – Police in Fairhaven are investigating the murder of a 69-year-old retired schoolteacher whose body was found Tuesday morning. According to investigators Joyce Howland knew her attacker and it’s not a random act.

Police had received a call for assistance at 12 Hamlet Street from a friend of the victim who had gone to check on her well-being after she failed to show for dinner on Monday night. Once inside the home, the friend found the victim and notified police.

“We have reason to believe the victim and the assailant were known to each other,” according to a statement from the Bristol County District Attorney’s office. “We do not believe there is a current threat to the public.”

Howland is a retired third grade teacher from East Fairhaven elementary school who lived alone. Investigators won’t release the results of an autopsy or say if they have any suspects in the case. They’re putting together a timeline as to how and when the killer carried out the attack.

“No one knows anything,” said neighbor Bob Kocor. His wife Anne, who worked as an aide in the victim’s classroom, brought a rose to the doorstep. “She was fun, I always enjoyed working with her. She was just a great person,” she said.

Now the police presence in this quiet neighborhood is unsettling to those who knew her. “We had heard she fell down the stairs, a couple of crazy stories, and now it’s a homicide investigation,” said neighbor John Sullivan.


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