Police are investigating the apparent strangulation deaths of the grandmother and aunt of a Gary police patrolman who were found slain Friday night in their Gary home.
Lillie L. Miller, 79, was found dead at her home at 733 Tyler St. around 9 p.m., said Gary police Detective Cpl. Gabrielle King. Donessa Miller, 52, the victim's daughter, was rushed to the Methodist Hospitals Northlake Campus in Gary and pronounced dead at 9:34 p.m., according to the Lake County coroner's office.
Lillie Miller was the grandmother of Gary Police Patrolman Damon Bradshaw and Donessa Miller was his aunt, King said.
Police were dispatched to the Tyler Street home at 8:54 p.m. Friday after receiving a report of a person down, according to King, a department spokeswoman. Police found both women unresponsive in the home.
Detectives were interviewing a person of interest in the homicides at the police station Saturday night, King said.
The preliminary cause of death for both women was asphyxia due to compression, according to the coroner's office.
Dwight Taylor, president of Concerned Citizens Against Violence in Gary, said he and a few other people held a prayer vigil outside the victims' home at 4 p.m. Saturday. Taylor has led a number of anti-violence marches and prayer vigils in Gary.
He said when he heard about the deaths of the two women it made him sick to his stomach.
"These prayer vigils, if you have a strong faith in God, of course you feel it will make a difference," he said. "But it's primarily to support the family that we go."
Times reporter Molly Woulfe contributed to this story