DALLAS (AP) — Two men charged with capital murder for the slaying earlier this month of a 79-year-old woman at her Dallas home were being held on $1 million bond each.
David Herron, 29, of Euless, and Daniel Brooks, 28, of Dallas, already were in jail in suburban Richardson on an unrelated theft charge when they were arrested for the murder of Avanell Cowgill, Dallas police said Friday night.
Police discovered Cowgill's body March 9 after her daughter couldn't reach her and asked authorities to check on the woman, who lived alone. Cogwill's husband died about four years ago.
Officers found the back door of her home open. Her body was inside the house. She was last seen two days earlier when she was leaving church.
"It was a dastardly deed," Dallas police Maj. Jeff Cotner said. "We don't know why they took the life of a grandmother."
Police have not specified how she was killed. Cotner described it as "brutal."
Authorities said there were messages on Cowgill's answering machine from credit card companies saying someone had used her cards. Detectives found a surveillance video of Herron and Brooks using her stolen credit card to buy an electronic device at a Wal-Mart store. They also were caught on video trying to use her ATM card.
They were tracked, and Brooks was identified by comparing his own driver's license photo to the video images, at another place where they sold the unspecified electronic device for $440.
According to a Dallas police arrest affidavit, Brooks acknowledged using Cowgill's credit cards and also having her driver's license. The same affidavit says Herron told detectives that Brooks left him near the woman's neighborhood, and then returned about 45 minutes later with a purse and some jewelry.
Online court records Saturday did not list attorneys for either man.