Neighbors react to arrest of murder suspect of 86 year old woman

As a murder suspect waits to be charged, a local neighborhood is finally at rest after nearly five years.

The suspect is a 42-year-old man from Sandusky.

NBC25 spoke with neighbors on White Road in Lapeer County's Deerfield Township who absolutely loved their neighbor, 86-year-old Marie Warren.

They say, they're overjoyed to know the sheriff has a suspect.

"I'm just so happy," says Jim Tolen, a good friend of Marie who lives down the street.

Jim would would plow her driveway in the winter, and she'd repay him with farm goods.

He can't believe why anyone would want to kill such a sweet lady who was so active to the very end.

Jim created a neighborhood watch in Marie's honor hoping authorities would find someone. "It's a happy day for us because they're out there, and they've been caught now."

Someone beat Marie to death inside her own home October 1, 2006 and stole some guns.

Horseback riders found her body in a ditch on Five Lakes Road a few miles away on November 15th.

Neighbors never locked their doors before the fall of 2006, but Marie's murder changed all that.

"After that, it scared the living daylights out of me," says neighbor Debbie Freeman, who knew Marie well.

Neighbors lived in fear, terrorized by the thought of someone coming back. Now, they have peace of mind.

"I hope that this is ended. It's done. I'm glad they finally caught whoever it is. I hope he serves his time well," says Freeman.

Neighbors say they had pretty much given up hope that someone would be held responsible for this.

They give law enforcement a lot of credit for staying with it.

Detectives used DNA to identify the suspect.

The arraignment could be as soon as Friday.