Police in Palo Alto are investigating a "likely" homicide after an Asian woman in her 60s was found dead in her Greenmeadow neighborhood home Thursday night.
Police were called to the house in the 300 block of Creekside Drive at about 7:42 p.m. A family member, who had gone to the residence to locate the victim, found her body and called police.
The identity of the woman has not been released.
Detectives obtained a search warrant and conducted a search of the residence in the quiet south Palo Alto neighborhood Friday morning. There are no significant leads at this time, according to police, who will continue to work through the weekend, examining evidence and interviewing people who may have known the woman.
An autopsy of the woman will be performed next week by the Santa Clara County Examiner-Coroner to determine cause of death, police said.
Police have said there is no danger to the public.
As police reopened Creekside Drive to traffic, the brown-and-white shingled home and two cars, a black Mercedes on the street and a sports utility vehicle in the driveway, remained cordoned off with crime-scene tape.
Neighbors in the sprawling neighborhood, which was developed by Joseph Eichler in the late 1950s, told the Weekly on Friday that the woman who owns the home and lived there was a mystery. None of her neighbors knew her, they said. The neighbors asked to remain anonymous.
County property records indicate that the home has been owned since 1995 by a woman with an Asian surname. The owner is an acupuncturist who has listed the Creekside address as her business location, according to online records.
One neighbor said the woman had many men who came to the home who stayed for short periods of time. The neighbor said it appeared that she had renters who seemed to change frequently, with new cars coming and going every month.
"She was renting out individual rooms. She said she was there the whole time, but I only saw her one time every seven months. The last time, she was driving a Beamer SUV," the neighbor said.
The woman's brother did business in China, and he would visit his wife and children, who lived at the home with the woman, about twice a year.
"We saw them more than her," the neighbor said.
The sister-in-law and her children moved out after living there for about a year, apparently because the two women did not get along, the neighbor said.
But the activity was consistent: the number of renters -- all males younger than 35 -- who would come in and move out often, she said.
"In this neighborhood, we never see renters like that," the neighbor said. Other renters stay for years, she added.
In the past two to three days, the activity increased considerably, she said.
"There were a lot of cars coming in and out, and they were all different. There were people talking in the driveway for a long time. They were out there talking for an hour," she said.
When the neighbor and her family moved in about three years ago, she tried to be friendly to the woman, bringing home-grown garden tomatoes and offering to work together to fix a fence that had been uplifted by vegetation in the woman's yard. But the woman preferred to be alone. She said that she did not have money to fix the fence, the neighbor recalled.
The neighbor said the woman never talked about having the acupuncture business listed online and in the online phone directory. Instead, when asked, she merely said that she had some business in China.
"I have no idea what she did," the neighbor said.
The neighbor said she does not feel afraid and believes the death was an isolated incident related to the particular victim. But it did surprise her because the neighborhood is quiet, although there have been are few burglaries, she said.
One woman, who has lived in Greenmeadow for 48 years, also saw many people come and go from the residence where the woman was found dead.
And like her other neighbors, she said she did not know the woman or the other occupants.
"I know most of my other neighbors, but I don't know anything about them at all," she added.
On Thursday night, another neighbor and her brother were walking the dog as police arrived. Officers stopped to talk to someone in a white pickup truck parked on the street, then cordoned off the residence and the street with crime-scene tape and asked the neighbor to move out of the secured zone, she said.
The last homicide in Greenmeadow took place in September 1998. Software engineer Vladimir Pokhilko killed his wife and son in their Ferne Avenue home before killing himself, a 34-year resident recalled.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the police department at 650-329-2413. Anonymous tips can be emailed to [email protected] or sent via text message or voicemail to 650-383-8984.