Woman in her 70s stabbed to death after fight with roommate, Orange County deputies say

Thelma Atterbury in custody

Deputies: woman killed in fight, suspect in custody

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. – Suzanne Dickens, 76, was stabbed to death inside her Orange County home Saturday after a dispute with a roommate, according to officials with the sheriff’s office.

Deputies responded to the home in the 2000 block of Hastings Street at about 11 a.m. for a fight between two female roommates in their 70s, an Orange County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said.

When deputies arrived, they discovered one of the women with multiple stab wounds. The victim was rushed to a hospital and pronounced dead at the facility, according to deputies.

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Investigators arrested 79-year-old Thelma Atterbury, she is facing a first-degree murder charge.

News 6 spoke with neighbors who said normally their neighborhood is quiet.

“I am shocked because it’s four old ladies that live there, like, what could y’all possibly be arguing about,” Daynalee Oriental said.

Oriental said she was visiting her mother and was puzzled at first when she saw the scene on Hastings Street, just two houses over.

“If someone would have told me without me seeing it, I wouldn’t have believed it because it’s not, it’s no noise. It’s just four old ladies, like, the whole neighborhood is just quiet,” Oriental said. “Even with the traffic, you would never expect news like that.”

Other neighbors, like a woman News 6 spoke with, going by the name Christie, said the incident could’ve been handled differently.

“Just sad that somebody lost their life probably over a silly argument,” Christie said.

Christie claims have been living in the neighborhood since 1992 and said despite this incident, her area doesn’t see incidents like this.

“I would say in the last 10 years people have been taking care of their homes and they’re moving in here, and I know Pine Hills has a bad reputation, but parts of it are OK, and this is a good part, so it’s good,” Christie said.

The sheriff’s office could not provide any additional details. As new information is confirmed this story will be updated.

A homicide investigation is ongoing.

About the Author:

Brian Didlake joined the News 6 team as a reporter in March 2021.