Son, neighbors grieve loss of Lake City murder victim: "Mom was a really remarkable lady"

Jennifer Ayers. (Family photo)

SEATTLE --Neighbor say Jennifer Ayers, who was found dead Monday in an apparent murder after a fire at her Lake City home, was well known in her Seattle neighborhood.

The 63-year-old did odd jobs for many families in the area, and would always try to help a neighbor any way she could.

"We're all going to miss her because she was such a part of all of our lives," Monica Rappin said. "It's going to be so strange not to see her walking by every day."

Her body was found after officers went to do a welfare check at her home in the 2500 block of Northeast 107th Street. When they arrived, the heard a smoke alarm and smelled smoke.

Firefighters were called in and officers discovered the woman's dead body while doing a quick check of the home, according to police. A 23-year-old person has since been arrested and is being held for investigation of murder.

Rappin lives on Ayers' block, and when Rappin spent time in the hospital in recent years, Ayers would come watch her home and walk her dog.

"She was just an amazing person," Rappin added, noting how tough Ayers was as well.

Ayers lived alone in her Lake City home, but raised a son who is now in college.

"My mom was a really remarkable lady," her son Toby told KOMO News. "I couldn't have asked for a better mom."

Toby is still processing the news and waiting for more information. He says he planned to move home after college. He was excited to work with his mom on their home. Now the house is boarded up as an investigation continues.

"There are so many people that like her so much because she was such a good person," Ayers' longtime friend Michael O'Hagen said.

O'Hagen and his wife Dianne live down the street from Ayers, who used to stop by their home several times a week. She would help them with random jobs around their home, including their garden, which she worked on every year.

"It's going to be a big loss not having her in the neighborhood," O'Hagen said. "And all the neighbors feel the same way."

Police haven't said if their suspect and Ayers knew each other.

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