ORLANDO, Fla. – Family members of an 85-year-old woman beaten by burglars at her Orange County home told News 6 she's recovering in the hospital and is expected to recover.
The victim's niece said she could be in the hospital for a few days while she recovers.
The burglary was reported around 5:30 a.m. at a home Wednesday morning in the 3700 block of South Tampa Avenue near 37th Street.
The Orange County Sheriff's Office said the victim awoke after an unknown number of people broke into the home.
The victim was beaten and later taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, deputies said.
The intruders fled the scene.
The victim's niece, Julia Rozier, said the intruders made their way inside the home with a crow bar, attacked the victim and stole her purse.
"She was in the living room in the recliner and about 5 a.m. someone broke in," Rozier said.
Rozier said it’s not clear if the victim was targeted or if the intruders knew her 85-year-old aunt.
"That somebody does not have a good conscious, that they would do something like this to another human being," said Rozier.
Neighbors told News 6 whoever attacked the victim may have been watching her, being that her home sits way back behind a lot of trees on private property.
"You wouldn’t know there’s a house back there and had to have been watching the area, then walked back there and broke in," said neighbor Emma Faircloth.
"They’ve probably known her for years, and thinks she has money and know that she lives alone," said the victim's friend Adelbert Gaskins.
Orange County Sheriff's deputies are searching for the attackers and have been canvassing the area.
"I think it’s very disturbing that a person, an 85-year-old woman, had to go through this," said deputy Christian Marrero.
Marrero also explained why there was a brief delay in responding to the victim's home Wednesday morning.
"She didn’t notify law enforcement herself. She called a family member [out of state] and that family member contacted us, so there was a little bit of a time delay, but we responded as fast as we could," Marrero said.
If you have any information about the crime, call the Orange County Sheriff's Office or Crimeline at 1-800-423-TIPS.
"I thought I was in a nightmare because when the phone rang I was trying to wake up, and I thought I was in a nightmare," Rozier said.
"This is very traumatic, this will be in our minds forever," Rozier said.
Deputies say since the victim was so shaken up, there isn’t a clear description of the burglars.
If they are caught they will face felony charges for attacking an elderly person.