San Jose police are investigating the city's 26th homicide of the year -- an apparent brutal beating of a woman early Friday morning.
A San Jose police lieutenant said three "persons of interest" were taken into custody Friday morning after a woman in her 40s was found dead on the sidewalk near Interstate 880 and U.S. Highway 101.
Police were called to the scene at 2:22 a.m. Officers said the woman appeared to have been beaten and there were signs of blunt force trauma, but the cause of death is still under investigation, Lt. Steve Lagorio said.
Surveillance video from a nearby business showed the woman, identified by some as only "Betty," asking for help a few hours before she was found dead. The video shows the woman walking into the store saying she had been attacked. She asked store employees to call police then rushed to the restroom to clean up.
According to people who were present at the store, she left with police.
"Betty was really a nice girl, but she was homeless and she had a lot of problems," friend Tammy Tucker said. "And it's hard, it's tough for a female to be homeless."
Dozens of officers used their flashlights to look for clues Friday morning, and circled the block looking for anyone who had relevant information.
"There was a lot of blood and it did appear there was a lot of 'trauma to her body ... different parts of her body," said SJPD spokesperson Albert Morales.
Three hours after the victim was found on the sidewalk, as many as 17 police cars were parked near the intersection of Oakland Road and Commercial Street.