She had lived in her home on Evergreen Drive in Parkville for more than 50 years, and 91-year old Nadia Schaible expected to live out her life here.
"He always said, 'I'll take care of you, Nadia,” said a neighbor who wanted to remain anonymous. “He said, 'I won't let you go into a nursing home. You'll stay in your own home for the rest of your days.'"
But now police have arrested Schaible's cousin from Utah, 72-year old John Malko, and have charged him with first degree murder.
It was Malko who called 911 last week to report a burglary at the house.
"That man told us that he'd been visiting this woman and left the home,” said Cpl. John Wachter of the Baltimore County Police Department, “When he returned, he found the kitchen door broken, jewelry strewn across the woman's bedroom and the woman's body lying on the basement floor."
According to charging documents, homicide detectives felt things just didn't add up.
Someone had broken the glass in the window of the kitchen door, but the outer storm door still had cobwebs on it suggesting it hadn't been opened in some time.
Malko would later admit he broke the window out of guilt that he hadn't checked on his cousin earlier, and then there were the neighbors.
"The moment I heard about it, well, I was here and I knew that he did it right away," said Matthew Prisco.
Schiable could barely move about with a walker, which prompted another of her friends to challenge Malko's account the following day.
But police had a very different picture of what happened when an autopsy found Schaible died of blunt force trauma and had suffered defensive wounds on her hands and forearms.
Malko had cuts about his legs, believed to have come from the victim's fingernails, and he admitted to detectives that he stood to collect an inheritance worth approximately $480,000 upon her death.
Malko is being held at the Baltimore County Detention Center with no bail.
Editor's Note: Baltimore County Police initially identified the victim as 72-year-old John Malko's cousin, but charging documents identify her as his aunt.