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Woman found dead in church parking lot

RICHMOND, Va. -- Police released the name of the 47-year-old woman whose body was discovered in a Southside church parking lot Saturday evening.

Richmond police were called to the Metropolitan African American Baptist Church in the 5200 block of Warwick Road just after 6:15 p.m.

Body found in church parking lot.

Body found in church parking lot.

That is where officers found Katherine A. Wigglesworth, of the 9100 block of Military Road in Amelia Court House, with what officials called "apparent injuries."

Wigglesworth was pronounced dead by EMS crews at 6:23 p.m.

The Medical Examiner's Office will determine Wigglesworth's cause and manner of death.

"The victim was located in a parking lot behind a church that is visible by surrounding businesses and roadways," officials said in a news release. "Richmond Police are hoping that someone in the area may have seen or heard something that may be helpful to the investigation and lead to the arrest of a suspect."

Candice Ponds

Candice Ponds

Candice Ponds, who has lived across the street from the church for 13 years, said she saw the police lights, but was speechless when she learned someone had been killed.

"That's tragic," Ponds said. "This is a lovely neighborhood. Everyone knows each other. Never had any crime happen over here."

Metropolitan African American Baptist Church

Metropolitan African American Baptist Church

Church leaders said no events were scheduled at the building Saturday evening.

Ponds said the church is very busy and popular.

"Church service goes on almost every day," Ponds said. "It's a good church. My son was actually in daycare and my niece is in daycare over there, so I'm very familiar with the church.”

Wigglesworth's death, which is Richmond's 14th homicide of 2017, is too close to home for Ponds.

"This is really bad. I haven't seen it this bad three months into the year in a very long time. I don't know what's going on in south Richmond,” Ponds said. “It's a huge concern because we have a lot of kids. We want our kids to be safe.”

If you have information that could help investigators, call Major Crimes Detective G. Bailey at 804-646-6743 or contact Crime Stoppers at 804-780-1000 or at www.7801000.com.

Submit tips to GUN250 about persons illegally possessing guns by texting Crime Stoppers at 274637, then using keyword “GUN250” followed by your tip. Rewards up to $250. Crime Stoppers methods are anonymous.