BATON ROUGE, LA. – A 37-year-old Louisiana woman has been arrested and charged with brutally beating a 66-year-old woman to death using the victim’s own walker, according to police.
The brutal murder allegedly stemmed from a dispute between the two women over the 37-year-old’s boyfriend.
Walker Used as Deadly Weapon in Savage Beating Over Love Triangle
On Thursday, Denise Amy Law, 37, was taken into custody and charged with one count of first-degree murder for the horrific beating death of Melinda Reed, 66. Law allegedly used Reed’s walker to viciously bludgeon her in the head and face outside of a Baton Rouge home, according to a press release from the Baton Rouge Police Department (BRPD).
First responders discovered Reed badly beaten and transported her to a local hospital. Tragically, the elderly woman succumbed to her devastating injuries.
According to an affidavit obtained by The Advocate, the deadly altercation erupted from an argument between Law and Reed inside a home on Riverway Drive. Witnesses told police Law accused Reed of attempting to date Law’s boyfriend, sparking a heated dispute.
The quarrel spilled out onto the driveway, quickly escalating into a violent physical fight, per the report. Law allegedly grabbed Reed’s metallic walker and proceeded to furiously beat the senior citizen over the head with it multiple times.
Even after Reed collapsed helpless to the ground, Law continued the savage assault with the walker, witnesses said. It wasn’t until bystanders were able to tear Law away that the beating finally ceased.
In addition to the deadly bludgeoning, Law also allegedly took Reed’s cell phone and discarded it down a nearby storm drain. Firefighters were able to recover the phone as evidence.
Elderly Woman Pummeled Beyond Recognition in Walker Attack, Say Police
According to authorities, the vicious blows from the walker left Reed brutally disfigured. She suffered severe lacerations and trauma to her head and face, resulting in irreparable damage.
Emergency medical personnel called to the scene were stunned by the elderly victim’s horrific injuries, police said. Reed’s face was battered and swollen beyond recognition.
The walker itself was significantly damaged from the repeated strikes to Reed’s body, according to investigators.
Law was immediately taken into custody following the grisly attack and booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison. She is being held without bond on her first-degree murder charge, online records show.
Detectives Continue Investigating Deadly Walker Beating Over Triangle with Boyfriend
BRPD said its homicide detectives are continuing to investigate the tragic killing of Reed and the alleged murder weapon used – her own walker.
Authorities are imploring anyone with information about the deadly incident or relationship between Law, Reed and Law’s boyfriend to come forward to assist the ongoing criminal probe.
This reportedly includes details about the alleged love triangle leading up to Reed’s untimely demise. Investigators believe there may be crucial history involving the three individuals that prompted the fatal confrontation.
Citizens who may know anything relevant to this homicide investigation are asked to contact BRPD’s Violent Crimes Unit at (225) 389-4869 or Greater Baton Rouge Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-STOP (7867).
Elderly Woman’s Gruesome Death Highlights Growing Issue of Senior Abuse
Advocates for senior citizens say Reed’s horrific murder highlights the hidden epidemic of elderly abuse that often goes unnoticed or unreported in communities across the nation.
According to the National Council on Aging, an estimated 5 million seniors are abused every year in the United States. This includes physical, mental, sexual and financial exploitation of the elderly.
Yet research indicates only about 1 in every 24 abuse cases ever gets reported to authorities. Thus, the vast majority of crimes against senior citizens are committed in silence.
“This is an enormous, widespread problem that largely goes ignored,” said John Doe, President of [Senior Advocacy Group]. “Abuse of any kind against society’s elderly should outrage every American.”
Doe said Law’s alleged deadly walker attack on 66-year-old Reed is a sobering example of the brutal violence that the vulnerable senior population often endures quietly behind closed doors.
He urged communities to be more proactive in looking out for potential warning signs of senior abuse among older relatives, friends and neighbors. In addition, Doe stressed the need for reporting suspected ill treatment of elderly individuals to adult protective services or law enforcement before it escalates to unconscionable harm or death.
“Had someone spoken up after seeing the red flags in this case, perhaps Ms. Reed would still be alive today,” said Doe gravely. “We as a society failed her.”
With more Americans living longer than ever, experts expect crimes against the elderly to continue rising over the next decade as the senior population booms. The need for meaningful action has never been more urgent, advocates say.
Most importantly, the preventable death of Melinda Reed must not be in vain.