Police: Woman, 86, shot dead in Marietta
by Nikki Wiley
December 18, 2013 12:00 AM | 6251 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Police investigators gather at the rear of a home at 211 Aviation Road SE in Marietta where a suspicious death of an elderly female is being investigated. (Staff/Jeff Stanton)
Police investigators gather at the rear of a home at 211 Aviation Road SE in Marietta where a suspicious death of an elderly female is being investigated. (Staff/Jeff Stanton)
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Marietta police investigators head up the sidewalk at a home on Aviation Road in Marietta to investigate a suspicious death of an elderly woman. The officers are wearing protective footwear that helps maintain the integrity of a crime scene. <br>Staff/Jeff Stanton
Marietta police investigators head up the sidewalk at a home on Aviation Road in Marietta to investigate a suspicious death of an elderly woman. The officers are wearing protective footwear that helps maintain the integrity of a crime scene.
Staff/Jeff Stanton
slideshow
An 86-year-old woman who was nearly blind and receiving in-home care was found shot to death in her house Tuesday morning.

Juanita Calvert, who lived with her disabled companion, was found by her caregiver at about 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday in her home at 211 Aviation Road off the South Loop near the Cobb Community Transit transfer station.

Officer David Baldwin of the Marietta Police Department would not say if police know of anyone who might have a motive for the killing and no suspects were in custody.

Calvert was the victim of a theft earlier this year and her former caregiver, Antione Davis of Smyrna, was arrested and charged with the crime, according to an arrest warrant. Davis is now out on bond after being charged with felony exploitation of a disabled adult or elderly person and felony theft by taking.

It is not known if Davis is the same caregiver who called 911 to report the killing Tuesday morning or if someone else had taken over that role.

Baldwin said he did not know Calvert had been the victim of theft earlier this year.

Calvert trusted Davis, the warrant said, to properly complete the checks for the correct amount because of her “failing eyesight.”

The warrant accused Davis of cashing 18 checks totaling $41,690 between December 2012 and March 2013, much more than the $4,500 he was owed for his services. Checks were cashed from an account belonging to Calvert and Phillip Van Zandt, who both resided at the Aviation Road home.

Baldwin could not confirm if Van Zandt is Calvert’s husband.

Van Zandt, who neighbors said is bedridden, was home during the attack but was not injured. He was taken to WellStar Kennestone Hospital to be cared for because the home is now a crime scene, Baldwin said.

Most neighbors didn’t know the couple but described them as elderly and in poor health. The neighborhood, which is lined with mostly bungalow-style homes, is described as usually quiet, and violent crime comes as a surprise to residents.

“I didn’t hear anything last night. I just happened to open my blinds this morning and saw all the commotion,” said Ken Milam, who has lived in a home across the street from the scene of the shooting for about a month.

Wendell Ferguson, who shares a home with Milam, has lived on the street for more than 20 years.

“There’s never been anything like this,” Ferguson said.

Others say break-ins have been increasing, but they’re shocked by news of an alleged murder in their neighborhood.

Eddie Qualls has lived a street over from the scene for about six years in a home that has been in his wife’s family since the 1940s.

He’s heard gunshots fired in the past and was the victim of a car break-in. Still, he’s unnerved.

“I’ve never had any trouble,” Qualls said.

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