Police investigate exercise instructor's death

Police investigate exercise instructor's death

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The medical examiner remained tight lipped about what caused the death of an 83-year-old woman in the Nutbush area.

Neighbors watched as homicide investigators carried large brown evidence bags from the woman's home on Bayliss Avenue on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"A whole lot of police cars is all I can tell you," neighbor James Shelton said. "It kind of scared me to death."

On Tuesday, Memphis police officers found the woman dead when they went to check on her well being.

"She was just always happy and smiling and a little feisty old lady. Fun, fun, fun," said Norma Waterbury, a friend of the victim.

"She never met a stranger and met a friend everywhere she went. Loved the Lord and loved to exercise," added friend Daisy Higgins.

Investigators are now looking into how she died.

Shelton says the woman was an exercise teacher and taught classes at a nearby gym.

Neighbors identify her as Delayne Parrish.

"She's a real nice lady," Shelton said. "I talked to her Thursday and Sunday and I didn't see her no more."

"Every time I was outside she would say hello to me and everyone," neighbor Amy Lopez said.

A WMC Action News 5 investigation revealed Thursday that Memphis police have been called out to the home four times in the last year. Those calls were prior to her well-being check.

Police were at the home eight days before she was found dead, after a burglary. But, officers say the burglary is not a factor in her death.

As the investigation continues, both neighbors and police simply want to know what happened. And the looming question, "Was she murdered?" remains unanswered.

"We don't know anything yet, but the idea of that would be horrible," said friend Joyce Sherrill.

Investigators have not said whether they consider her death suspicious.

"It's our neighborhood, it's where we live, it's where we raise our children," said Higgins.

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