An elderly Kensington woman allegedly beaten by an addict who broke into her home hunting for drug money in April has succumbed to her injuries, police said.
Investigators now are awaiting autopsy results on the cause of 81-year-old Elizabeth Morini's death Wednesday to determine whether to upgrade charges against suspect Victor Vargas, said Lt. Harold Lloyd, of East Detectives.
Jeff Moran, a spokesman for the Philadelphia Medical Examiner's Office, said autopsy results aren't expected until next week.
Vargas, 24, allegedly pushed in an air conditioner to crawl into Morini's rowhouse in the predawn hours of April 2. He pounced on her as she slept in her bedroom and beat her with a flashlight while demanding cash to feed his addiction to Xanax, police said.
Morini returned the fight, flogging her attacker with a chair leg and chasing him from the two-story, red-brick home where she lived alone on Boudinot Street near Kensington Avenue. Vargas escaped with about $80 and Morini's prescription medicine, police said.
Morini - known to neighbors as "Miss Elizabeth" - was hospitalized with facial fractures and other head injuries. If medical examiners decide those injuries led to her death, Vargas likely will face murder charges, police said.
"It's not right; she was really healthy, and she could have lived longer if that guy hadn't done that," Morini's neighbor and friend Harold Santos said yesterday. *