Police call elderly man's death suspicious

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - 85-year-old J.T. Brewer was found dead inside his home Friday morning in the 1500 block of Willis. Police have called the death suspicious.

Memphis Police Department spokesperson Monique Martin said officers were called to Brewer's home at 10:00 a.m. after a neighbor discovered his lifeless body.

Martin said the circumstances of the his death are not clear, but Brewer's longtime friend Bobbie Spencer is convinced he was murdered.

Spencer says Brewer was always on his porch, but when she didn't see him there Thursday, she knew something was wrong.

Concerned about Brewer, she and two other neighbors entered his home on Friday morning.

Memphis Police arrived on the scene to investigate, and told Brewer's family he may have died violently.

"They said they think someone had beaten him to death, and they wouldn't let me inside the house," said the man's son, James Earl Williams. "(They) said it was a crime scene."

Relatives said the Brewer's house had been ransacked.

"There's blood through the house," said the victim's niece, Laquita Cartwright.

Spencer said she figured a crack addict broke in through Brewer's back door, and he was too feeble to put up a fight. She said she couldn't imagine who would target him, let alone beat the elderly man to death.

"Crazy, low-down, and dirty."

Spencer says she'll miss her friend of more than 50 years.

"He was a real nice guy."

Although homicide detectives spent hours on the scene Friday, Memphis Police have yet to rule Brewer's death a murder.

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