Man Bludgeoned His 77-Year-Old Grandmother To Death, Burned Her Body
“Anthony Sena almost got away with this murder,” a detective says of Susan Hernandez’s death.
An elderly woman in Colorado was found brutally murdered, and the identity of her killer hit close to home for loved ones.
On the morning of July 29, 2015, Katrina Livecchi phoned her 77-year-old mother, Susan Hernandez, multiple times but she never answered.
“I had a horrible gut feeling going through my stomach,” Livecchi recalled, according to True Crime Daily. “I closed up my house and drove down to Pueblo.”
After making the 45-minute trip, Livecchi discovered her mother’s front door ajar and smoke pouring from the basement.
After calling 911, Katrina went into the house’s basement, where she found her mother’s body on fire.
The victim “had a large hole to the back of her head,” Pueblo Police Detective Raymond Purvis said. “She had been struck multiple times and we knew that because of the cast off and the blood splatter at the scene. We definitely knew it was a homicide, there was no question about that.”
Police left no stone unturned looking for Susan Hernandez’s killer. Watch the investigation unfold on a new episode of The Murder Tapes Wednesday on ID at 9/8c.
During the course of the four-month investigation, detectives learned Hernandez paid her 29-year-old grandson, Anthony Sena, $7,500 to put a new roof on her house but he never completed the work. They also found out Hernandez had a cash box in her house that was missing.
According to authorities, Sena had a long criminal history that included everything from convictions for robbing an armored car to vandalism, but he denied he had anything to do with his grandmother’s death.
Shortly after Hernandez’s murder, however, Sena’s mother, Vanessa, approached police officers about her son and the exchange was recorded on body cameras.
“Oh God, I can't think it 'cause I'll end up dead like my mom,” she said. “I think it was all about money, he's psycho, he's f---ing psycho. I know, I know he killed my mom.”
Sena’s mother said she had no proof but knew in her heart her son committed the crime.
Police finally got their first big break in the case after they tested forensic evidence.
“The body had not been totally burned or consumed, so there was one hand that had some fingernails or fingers left to it, and when the pathologist had taken the samples from underneath the fingernails, we did send them off to CBI, which later came back as Y-STR DNA,” Det. Purvis said, noting the results confirmed the murderer was a member of the Sena family.
Pueblo police got another lead after Sena’s mother phoned the station to report she had found a hammer she thought was used to kill her mother.
“It was evident to us that Anthony was pretty much the lone person in the case,” Purvis said.
Detectives believed financial gain was Sena’s motive for murdering his grandmother.
“I think he did it with intent,” Purvis said. “I think he did it with deliberation and I think he committed cold-blooded first-degree murder.”
In 2016, Sena was convicted of murder, arson and theft, and he was sentenced to life in prison without parole, KKTV reported.
“Anthony Sena almost got away with this murder,” Purvis said. “If the hand had been burned, this case probably and could likely have gone unsolved.”