SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- The family of an 88-year-old woman brutally beaten during a home invasion robbery is holding a prayer vigil Friday in her honor as "Miss Flo," as she's called by friends, remains in the hospital fighting for her life. The vigil is set for 7 p.m. in San Jose.
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For the members of St. Paul Missionary Baptist Church in San Jose, a sense of disbelief weighs on the minds of many. "It's a numbness. It's a hole. It just shouldn't have happened," Beverly Canady told ABC7 News. Miss Flo was one of their members and she was beaten earlier this week during a home invasion robbery on North Cragmont Avenue.
Zachary Cuen, 19, has been arrested for the crime. Detectives with the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office are trying to determine if he had an accomplice and hoping neighbors will turn over any surveillance video that may help with the case.
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"You think of so many older women that live by themselves. Why would anyone just want to break in and beat her like that?" asked Clara Rhines. It's a question that has been asked over and over again these past few days. "Such the most sweetest person... and for this to happen to her, it hurts."
Every week, the church distributes food to the needy, and Miss Flo would typically be there flashing a smile while dishing out fruits and veggies. "We're always on this corner every Friday, and it's just devastating to us, the members of St. Paul, that we don't have our beloved mother here with us today," said Helen Stewart.
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The close-knit community is trying to stay strong. "It just hurts not to see her here today, just sad not to see her because I miss her very much," Roszene Anderson said.
They are asking everyone to keep this longtime Bay Area resident in their thoughts and prayers. "Even if you don't know her, I'm sure something has happened in your family where you just need to have the calmness and to be able to just support," Canady said.
Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to call the sheriff's office's 24-hour tip line at (408) 808-4431.
Click here for a GoFundMe account that has been set up for Miss Flo.
Vigil to be held in San Jose for elderly woman beaten during home robbery