Cold Case files: Woman beaten to death in her home with bowling pin

By Elysse James

Police are seeking leads in the murder of a woman who was killed in a back bedroom of her home on Nov. 21, 1978.

“This lady is truly an innocent victim,” said Det. Michael Farley of the Garden Grove Police Department. “We suspect it was probably a burglary gone wrong.”

Patricia Neufeld, a 33-year-old housewife and mother of two, was home watching a neighbor’s child when she was bludgeoned to death with a bowling pin at her house in the 6000 block of Richmond Avenue in Garden Grove.

At the time of the murder, both Neufeld’s children were in school. Her son discovered her when he came home that afternoon from elementary school. The child in the back room was unharmed.

“There were signs of a pretty good struggle in the back room,” Farley said. “She definitely fought.”

Police found no signs of forced entry and believe the bowling pin was “an object of opportunity inside the house,” Farley said. “We don’t think they necessarily came inside to kill (her). She either invited them in or they just opened the door and walked in, thinking they could just burglarize the house.”

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call Det. Terra Ramirez at 714-741-5839.