Murder victim's family: Did police delay response?

Elizabeth Bermea, 45, found dead Friday in West side alley

SAN ANTONIO - Relatives of a woman whose body was found in an alley on the city’s West side Friday wonder if San Antonio police delayed their response to 911 calls, resulting in the woman’s death.

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A passerby found the body of Elizabeth Bermea, 45, near Micklejohn and N. Navidad streets after 6 a.m. Friday, police said.

Once officers arrived on the scene, they roped off that area as well as the entire 900 block of nearby Menchaca St. where a trail of shoes, clothes and blood droplets -- believed to be from Bermea -- was found.

Chief William McManus spoke to reporters at the scene, saying investigators believed the murdered woman was also the victim of a sexual assault that had been reported, while in progress, around midnight. He said he did not know who made the 911 calls or how officers responded to them, but confirmed they came in about six hours before Bermea was found dead.

Tony Bermea wonders, though, whether those earlier calls were answered at all. He said the six hour window between the first 911 calls and the time his sister’s body was found could be what cost her her life.

There's a discrepancy between the time the body was found,” Bermea said. "There could've been somebody, like maybe the police or maybe the ambulance called or something, that could've saved her.

He describes his older sister, a mother of two grown children, as a helpful, loving and generous person. However, Bermea said it had been some time since her family had any contact with her.

Since getting news of her death, Bermea said he has been on a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, calmed only by his faith.

"I was hurting the other day and I asked the Lord, I said, 'Lord, your word said that you'd comfort us.' And sure enough a peace came over me," he said.

His family, Bermea said, plans to keep asking questions about the case.

Attempts to reach a spokesman with the police department by email for an update Monday were unsuccessful.  SAPD’s public information office was closed due to the King Day holiday.


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