Elderly victim's pet put down after killing

Published: Oct. 16, 2017 at 10:32 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 17, 2017 at 12:50 PM CDT
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(Source: WSFA 12 News)
(Source: WSFA 12 News)

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - There's a sad update in the case of a 92-year-old Montgomery woman brutally killed in her home.

According to those close to Lou Gedel, her pet had to be put down following what prosecutors say was a deadly home invasion.

The elderly woman was beaten to death, and, after the attack, her German Shepherd could no longer walk.

Gedel was found dead in her house in the 1900 block of South Court Street, near the intersection of West Fairview Avenue and Court Street, where she lived alone. An acquaintance reported that the victim had not been seen in several days, according to police.

Forced entry had been made into the residence, and forensic evaluation confirmed the cause of death to be homicide from blunt-force trauma, the Montgomery Police Department said. No other details have been released in the ongoing investigation.

Many at the Montgomery Area Council on Aging are mourning Gedel's death. At 92, she was still very active. She drove herself to MACOA for activities and fellowship and was a member of MACOA's Archibald Center for 20 years.

She participated in luncheons, dances, and game day at the MACOA East location on Bell Road. She loved German Shepherds and adopted two of them, including the recent adoption of the dog that was in the home when she was brutally attacked.

A close friend took the dog, named Ollie-Lin, after the murder to care for it, but it was in a very bad state.

The dog was elderly and had issues with its rear legs due to age and arthritis, but friends say the last time they saw the dog at Gedel's house before the crime, it was able to get up and eat and go outside without any problems.

When a friend brought the dog to her home after Gedel's death, the dog had to be carried inside and couldn't stand and wouldn't eat.

It's unclear if the dog was also beaten when the assailant or assailants were in Gedel's home or if the pet suffered from lack of food, water and medicine before Gedel's body was found.

The difficult decision was made to put the dog down under the guidance and recommendation from a veterinarian. She was cremated and friends plan to sprinkle the dog's ashes on Gedel's grave this weekend when she is buried in her native state of Ohio.

A memorial service for Gedel was held this past weekend at Messiah Lutheran Church in Montgomery. The church was packed for the service as many came out to pay tribute to the well known and well liked woman.

Those who loved her continue to try to come to grips with her murder.

"I don't understand how someone could be so evil, so cold," her friend, June Helus, said.

Before retirement, Gedel worked for the Alabama Department of Public Health. Friends say she was an integral part  in the creation of the WIC program, a supplemental nutrition program for pregnant women, breastfeeding women, women who had a baby within the last six months, infants, and children under the age of five.

No arrests have been made in the case.

Anyone with information is asked to call Central Alabama CrimeStoppers at 215-STOP, Secret Witness at 625-4000, the Montgomery Police Department at 625-2831 or the District Attorney's Office.

Copyright 2017 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.