Nine days after her brutal killing, police in Worcester, Massachusetts, are still looking for the person who strangled a teacher's aide.
On Feb. 5, 49-year-old Sandra Hehir was found on the floor of her apartment on Congress Street, strangled to death. Information coming from police is limited.
"I can't imagine why someone would do that to her," said Phil Magnusson, Hehir's neighbor. "If we were driving by the house or I was going by on by bicycle, it was always a friendly smile and a 'hello' and 'how are you.'"
Hehir was a teacher's aide in the Worcester Public School Department, most recently working at Claremont Academy.
"When I heard how she had passed, I was horrified," said Roger Nugent, president of the Education Association of Worcester. "People that do the role that she held in schools, they're right on the front lines with the teachers, working directly with kids, and it's not for everybody."
Her neighbors say they didn't think a crime this gruesome could happen in the upscale, historical section of the city.
"We don't think of having the problems that people that live in the city or the downtown part of the city have," said Jay Lavell, who lives across the street from Hehir's apartment. "Just reminds us that we're all sort of connected, and we're not that separate."
Hehir's wake will be held Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. at Callahan/Fay/Caswell Funeral Home. Her funeral will be held Thursday at St. Andrew the Apostle Mission Church. The burial will be private in the spring.