Slain Westland mom was strangled in home

Holly Fournier
The Detroit News

Westland — Police in Westland took a person of interest into custody Thursday after a woman was found dead late Wednesday in her home.

Rachel Watson, a mother of four about 30 years old, was discovered at a home in the 34000 block of Avondale just before midnight Wednesday after coworkers became concerned when she did not show up for work.

Mary Mazur, spokeswoman for the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office, said Thursday the death has been ruled a homicide after determining Watson wa s strangled.

Rachel Watson

"She did have trauma, that included bruising around her the neck, also something called petechiae, which are ruptured capillaries on the eyes which is a sign of strangulation," Mazur said.

Police say a person was taken into custody at 8:30 a.m. Thursday near Grand River and Bagley in Detroit.

Watson's home is in a neighborhood of small ranch houses, about a block from Hamilton Elementary School on Avondale.

Watson was a single mother and nurse for six years, most recently at Heartland Health Care Center in Ann Arbor, said coworker Lucretia Bell, 36.

"She was an educated, funny, loving person," Bell said. "She was a mom; she was a nurse. It takes a special person to fill those roles and for someone to cheat the world of that is a travesty."

The body of a woman in her 30s was found in a home in the 34000 block of Avondale.

Bell said she was in shock Thursday morning after hearing about Watson's death.

"When you're in the nursing field, those people are your family," she said. "You see them more than anyone else."