The person who killed 73-year-old Kate Ragsdale in her home was likely young and lived close by, according to an initial analysis released by a former FBI agent.
Tuscaloosa investigators have been working on the homicide case with retired FBI agent and former criminal profiler Charles Dorsey. He has created a profile of the suspect based on crime scene evidence and an assessment of Ragsdale's death.
Police say Ragsdale, a former librarian and longtime University of Alabama employee, died of "sharp force injury," meaning she was stabbed to death. Authorities believe she had been dead for several days before her body was discovered by a neighbor Sunday night.
The Tuscaloosa County Homicide Unit says their investigators have discussed the case at length with Dorsey.
Dorsey's analysis indicates that the suspect is probably young, lived "in close proximity to the Ragsdale residence" and likely walked to and from the crime scene. Dorsey believes the suspect was familiar with the location of the crime, Ragsdale's home in The Highlands subdivision in Tuscaloosa.
The suspected killer also appeared to "exhibit an extreme lack of criminal sophistication," Dorsey said.
Investigators emphasize that no possible suspect should be eliminated from the investigation based solely on the profile information.
"An important factor in the profile is that the offender most likely will be displaying tremendous behavioral changes in the days following this horrific event," officials said in a recent post on the Tuscaloosa Police Department's Facebook page.
Investigators say the behavior change will be obvious to the suspect's peers, friends and familiy, and are asking anyone who notices such behavior to contact them.
Homicide investigators saythey are going through surveillance video and still gathering information from residents in an effort to solve the case. So far they've cleared "dozens" of leads and are following up on others, investigators say.
Officers are asking anyone with information about the case to come forward. You can submit a tip anonymously on Tuscaloosa Police's Facebook page or email the Homicide Unit directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling them at 205-464-8690. Rewards are offered through anonymous tips called in to Crimestoppers at 205-752-STOP.
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