Police identify woman found dead in Provo home, are considering case a homicide

Posted at 10:10 PM, May 21, 2014

PROVO, Utah -- A son found his mother dead in their home in Provo and now police are treating it as a murder investigation.

Cops said preliminary autopsy results show 60-year-old Belen Perez was strangled.

Neighbors placed flowers on the doorstep at 1675 W. 50 North to remember Belen Perez, who they said was a sweet woman who cared for stray cats in the neighborhood.

Her son came home from work Wednesday and discovered the brutal crime scene. A neighbor saw it as well.

"It was like a mobster scene," said Kimberly Bennett.

She says Belen Perez was dead on on the floor just feet from the entry way of her Provo home. Her son tried to revive her.

"He came out the door and started screaming for me to call 911," Bennett said.

The 60 year-old victim had an electrical cord wrapped around her neck, Bennett said.

"He was taking it off and screaming, "how do I do CPR?," she added

"I think his first instinct was to try and do whatever he could but it was already too late," said neighbor Bonnie Burt.

The victim's face was covered in drain cleaner, Bennett said.

"They had put liquid plumber on her head, obviously, cause it was all over the carpet and her face was covered in it," she said.

"These are highly suspicious circumstances, so we're treating this as a homicide," said Lt. Mat Siufanua with the Provo Police Department.

"It makes this quiet little neighborhood a little scarier," Burt said.

Police spent two days searching for clues in Perez' home and questioning neighbors, who can't understand why anyone would hurt the 60-year-old victim.

"She was quiet. She kept to herself," Bennett said.

Police are now asking for the public's help to find suspects.

"I want them caught and them punished to the fullest for what they did to that woman," Bennett added.

Provo Police do not have any persons of interest. They've questioned Perez' son but said he was cooperative and remains shaken up. Police don't consider him a suspect.

Meanwhile, cops are trying to determine if Belen Perez may have been the victim of another crime. Police said there was no forced entry into the home.