The 83-year-old Columbus woman found slain in her Eighth Street home Monday afternoon was dead for eight to 10 hours before a relative found her body, officials confirmed.
Muscogee County Coroner Buddy Bryan said rigor mortis had completely set in when Gamble was located in a hallway adjacent to a bedroom, meaning that her joints and muscles had stiffened. She was pronounced dead on the scene at 1:34 p.m., he added.
“It wasn’t really cold, which speeds up rigor mortis,” said Bryan, who declined to release her cause of death. “She had been dead a good 8 to 10 hours.”
Her body remains at the morgue and will be transported to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation crime lab in Atlanta for an autopsy, the coroner said Tuesday afternoon.
Columbus Police Maj. Gil Slouchick said authorities located the beige 1988 Toyota Corolla that was missing from Gamble’s home at 2324 8th St. He declined to give the exact location where it was found, but he confirmed that it was located abandoned in Columbus Monday night.
“We’re still in the real early stages of the investigation,” said Slouchick, who confirmed Tuesday morning that no suspects have been identified. “We secured the house all night.”
Gamble’s death is the 23rd homicide in Columbus this year. It comes about two weeks after Ronald Davis, 36, of Columbus was fatally shot on 17th Avenue on Nov. 15.