90-year-old woman attacked in Northwest Baltimore home invasion dies

and Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
A 90-year-old woman attacked in Northwest Baltimore home invasion died, police say.

A 90-year-old woman who was attacked during a home invasion in her Northwest Baltimore home this month died Wednesday, police said.

Mary Helen Dickson-Hines was injured May 4 at her home in Central Park Heights, police said. An unknown suspect or suspects entered the home and assaulted her before leaving.

"This is a 90-year-old woman who lived in the same home for 50 years who was brutally assaulted [and] left for dead," said Lt. Jarron Jackson, a Police Department spokesman.

He urged anyone with information to come forward.

"Her family deserves closure for this," he said. "That community deserves to have this person who committed this brutal assault taken off the street."

Neighbors in the 4500 block of Garden Drive expressed shock and sorrow at Dickson-Hines' death.

The quiet street is lined by red-brick rowhouses on one side and a small park on the other. Neighbors keep tidy lawns, some surrounded by chain-link fences.

"She was a good lady," said Hugh Brice, 73, who lived a few doors down from Dickson-Hines for around two decades. "She would give you the shirt off her back."

Alana Smith, 30, lived on the same block as Dickson-Hines since she was 15.

"She always gave us birthday cards," Smith said. "It makes me angry. That could be your grandmother."

Brittany Evans, 28, said she had known Dickson-Hines all her life.

"It's sad," she said. "She didn't deserve that."

Evans sat on her porch with her 2-year-old son and her mother, Lavonne Speaks. She said such a crime was unusual in the neighborhood.

"Stuff like this never happens," she said. "Nothing ever goes on around here."

She said Dickson-Hines was a visible member of the community, which she described as very tight-knit.

"Everybody looks out for everybody," she said.

Speaks, 57, remembered Dickson-Hines as a kind, attentive neighbor and an avid gardener.

"She didn't hurt a soul," Speaks said, and gestured to her neighbor's front yard. "She was proud of that little rose bush right there."

Speaks said Dickson-Hines worked as a nurse at hospital before retiring. She came from North Carolina, Speaks said, but had lived in Baltimore since the early 1970s.

Particularly shocking to Dickson-Hines' neighbors was that the attack apparently occurred in the middle of the day.

A relative of a neighbor called the police and told officers that the door to Dickson-Hines' home was open and that he was concerned for her well-being, police said.

The officers found Dickson-Hines suffering from multiple injuries and unable to move or call for the police. She was taken to an area hospital.

City Councilwoman Sharon Green Middleton, who represents the area, extended her condolences to the victim's family.

"Brutal murders are terrible anyways, but something like this to a 90-year-old" is particularly heinous, Middleton said. "And knowing that this person is still out there on the streets — it makes it even more devastating."

Middleton encouraged anyone with information about the incident to call her office or the police.

Jackson made the same appeal.

"I am urging anyone who has any bit of information to please contact us," he said. "No matter how small you think it is, no matter how insignificant you believe it may be, please give us that information so we can close this case."

He asked anyone with information to call homicide detectives at 410-396-2100 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7LOCKUP.

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