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Police investigating suspicious death in Enfield, victim identified

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ENFIELD, Conn. (WTNH) — A ‘person of interest’ in the mysterious death of a 79-year-old Enfield woman is in the hospital after crashing her car in Wethersfield.

35-year-old Anthony Ward is related to the deceased victim. He crashed the victim’s black Toyota Corolla and ended up in the hospital being treated for injuries from the crash. Enfield detectives are waiting to interview him.

State police crime scene investigators spent all Wednesday morning going through a blue house on 2nd Avenue. That’s because Enfield police found the body of the 79-year-old woman there on Tuesday night. Police identified the woman as Frances Battagler. Ward is said to be Frances’ grandson.

Police came to this quiet Enfield neighborhood near I-91 to check on the elderly woman based on a letter she sent to a relative, who then went to police.

“There was an individual who arrived at the police department. That individual was another relative who received some correspondence- who received a letter that express some family concerns, ultimately leading us to his location,” Chief Alaric Fox of the Enfield Police Department said.

Those family concerns centered around Ward, a relative of the woman who died.

Anthony D. Ward (Photo: Enfield Police Department)

“I’m just very upset about this,” said Patsy Fisher, the victim’s next door neighbor. “I’ve talked to her at the grocery store. I work at Stop and Shop and I’ve talked to her several times and she seems to be a very pleasant lady.”

Investigators believe the 79-year-old died of blunt force trauma, which makes for uneasy feelings among neighbors.

“Oh yes, I just told my children to make sure these doors are locked at all times because a lot of times we leave our door open,” Fisher said.

Police say the deceased’s car was not at the scene, which led police to believe the suspect was driving it.

People who know Anthony Ward call him a “troubled young man.” Enfield’s chief simply saying his officers have interacted with him before.

“The history is not anything I’m going to breach or broach,” Fox said. “The circumstances of this are still very, very evolving”

Police took the unusual step of also issuing a Silver Alert for Anthony Ward. When asked about the alert, Chief Fox said, in addition to being a person of interest in this incident, Ward may also be in a “personally compromised” condition. Police say there is no danger to the public.

The incident is being investigated as a homicide case and is ongoing.

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