Police: Sharp object might have been used in Thomas Street killing

Police say a sharp object might have been used in the slaying of a 51-year-old Thomas Street woman whose body was discovered Tuesday morning.

Columbus police Lt. Lynn Joiner said officials performed the autopsy Wednesday morning but the cause of death won't be released to the public until today. While testifying Wednesday morning in a Muscogee Superior Court trial, Detective Vincent Sampson Jr. confirmed Tuesday's death as a homicide, saying he was called to investigate when the body was discovered.

Brenda Lowe was found in her East Wynnton apartment Tuesday around 10 a.m. Joiner said the woman's body was discovered after her family asked authorities to check on her.

"Family members hadn't seen the lady in apartment 'B' since the weekend," Joiner said. "When they opened the door to check on her, she was deceased in the house."

Despite rumors that the body had been stabbed and shot multiple times, Joiner said police cannot yet confirm what weapons were used.

"We're not sure what weapons were used," Joiner said. "All that stuff out here about gunshots, it's rumor. We think there might have been a sharp object involved, but we don't know anything about a gun."

Columbus Coroner Buddy Bryan said some of the puncture wounds on the body came from shards of glass from an aquarium.

"She apparently had fallen into an aquarium that she had and received injuries from the glass," Bryan said. "It was to the point where you could have thought she just fell into the aquarium and stumbled around a bit and that was it."

Bryan said detectives were able to determine Lowe's death was not caused by glass injuries due to blood splatters on the wall and ceiling.

"One of the detectives was telling me that the blood on the ceiling could have been her flinging her arm in self- defense," he said.

Neighbor Alford Branch said Lowe was a janitor at Carver High School.

She also was fond of playing the lottery, particularly Cash 4, and generally kept to herself.

Kohren Lowe, a niece, said she recently won a cash prize playing the game.

"She won and somebody knew about it," Lowe said. "It's no telling what happened."

Joiner said police are looking into rumors that the cash prize was involved in the homicide but cannot confirm motives.

"That's a rumor going around, and we're checking into that," he said. "It depends how big the win was. It's rumored from the hundreds to the thousands, so we don't know. She may have won the lottery, but I don't know if it was a big prize."

Brenda Lowe had been in Michigan for a few months before returning to her apartment.

-- Staff writer Ben Wright contributed to this report.