HOUSTON Police are hoping that jewelry stolen from the scene of a deadly home invasion will lead them to an 82-year-old Houston woman s killer.

Margaret Marie Gage was beaten to death during a burglary at her home in the 5700 block of Sanford at Mullins Thursday night all over a few thousand dollars worth of jewelry.

It was a completely senseless, mean, totally unnecessary act, HPD Sgt. C.E. Elliott said. I wouldn t even call the person an animal. That would be doing a disservice to the rest of the creatures on this Earth.

Police said Marie Gage s 84-year-old husband, Bill Gage, heard their dog barking around 8:45 p.m. and went to investigate.

When he opened the back door to let the dog out, police said the suspect forced his way inside. They believe the suspect may have followed the couple home.

Investigators said the suspect pushed Bill Gage to the floor and started kicking him in the head.

When Marie Gage tried to intervene, investigators said the suspect mercilessly beat her with his hands.

The suspect forced Mr. Gage to show him where the valuables were in the home, and then left with several items, including Marie Gage s four-carat wedding ring.

Mrs. Gage was rushed to Ben Taub Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Mr. Gage, a retired insurance agent, was treated and released. Police said he was black and blue in the face, but is expected to be OK.

Neighbors said Mr. and Mrs. Gage were a big part of the community.

They re such good people, nice people. Caring, loving, neighbor Lily Burk said. I saw her being put in the ambulance last night, and I hoped that everything would be OK. But I heard this morning that she did not make it.

[Marie Gage was] someone who is giving and loving and doesn t deserve to die that way. Did not deserve to die that way, Gage s daughter, Loa Glenn, said.

Investigators held a press conference about the case on Friday, in the hopes that the stolen jewelry might lead them to the killer.

Police said there were three rings stolen, as well as a three-carat diamond solitaire necklace. They provided photos of the jewelry to the media, hoping that someone at a local pawn shop might spot the items and help investigators identify the suspect.

The Gage family pleaded with the public to come forward with information.

Someone could call us and tell us, Someone showed up at my house. Someone came into my store and tried to sell this jewelry to me. So-and-so talked to me about this. Someone knows something, and we re asking for them to step forward, Elliott said.

Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact HPD Homicide at 713-308-3600 or Crime Stoppers at 713-222-8477.

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