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Constance Barnes, 92

Constance Barnes (2016-12-16)

Constance Barnes, a 92-year-old white woman, died of blunt force trauma Friday, Dec. 16, in the 13200 block of Jefferson Avenue in Hawthorne, according to Los Angeles County coroner’s records. 

Barnes and her son, Kenneth Barnes, a 69-year-old white man, were both found dead inside their home about 12:05 p.m., said Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Steve Jauch. 

The county Fire Department was called about noon when a passerby saw smoke coming from the house, Jauch said. 

Firefighters found Barnes in the living room with blunt force trauma to her head and chest, Jauch said. 

The living room was on fire, Jauch said. Paramedics tried to revive Barnes, but she was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:23 p.m., according to coroner’s records.

A short time later, firefighters found Kenneth Barnes’s body in the bathroom. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:44 p.m., but his cause of death is still under investigation, according to coroner’s records. 

Investigators found a wooden mallet near Constance Barnes’ body, which they believe was used to hit her, Jauch said. 

Her son is so far the only suspect in her death. “The fire was intentionally set,” Jauch said, “but we don’t know the motive and we don’t know if his death is a suicide or if he died by other means.” 

Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.  

Contact the Homicide Report. Follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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