Crime has residents doubting security


Published: Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
TRENTON - They're not used to locking their doors at night here.
But after the body of Marcela Bisquera Frazier was found inside her home nearly two weeks ago, many residents in this small town are thinking twice about their security.
Police have made no arrests in the killing of Frazier, a 45-year-old wife and mother, who was found dead on Jan. 11 inside her home when police were called to do a well-being check after relatives hadn't heard from the woman in several hours.
Some residents say they're worried that the killer still hasn't been caught.
"I'm beginning to think it ain't a safe town," 27-year-old resident Antwan Gamble said last week. "I'm trying to figure out how something like this happened here."
Genie Russell, 60, who has lived here since 1980, said the killing has jolted her, but she is confident police will do their job and find the person responsible.
Residents here are not the only ones trying to figure out the mysterious death.
Frazier's family in Waipahu, Hawaii, said they feel they are "getting the run around" from police and have received little information about Frazier's death, said Lester Tamayo, Frazier's nephew. But despite their frustration, the family is remaining patient and hopeful, Tamayo, 24, told The Sun Friday in a phone interview from Hawaii.
"It feels like we're being kept in the dark, but all we can do now is wait," Tamayo said. "There's no sense of closure and people here are in disbelief. It's very emotional."
Since Frazier was found, police and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which was called to assist in the investigation, have released few details about the case.
That's because investigators are awaiting preliminary autopsy results and test results on forensic evidence collected from Frazier's home, Police Chief Billy Smith said Thursday.
While Smith declined to say how and exactly when Frazier died, what evidence has been collected or what weapon may have been used in the slaying, he did say that police have "three people of interest" they are interviewing. He also said he believes the killer was known to Frazier and that the incident was "something personal."
Sources close to the investigation told The Sun Friday that there were knife wounds on Frazier's body.
And although some residents have called Smith to express their concerns that Frazier's killer was still on the loose, he insists the town is as safe a place to live as it was before the killing, the first in Trenton in the last 12 years.
"This is the biggest crime in Trenton," Smith said. "But we have a lot of good people working on (the case). We're pretty sure we'll solve it."
Smith added that once forensic tests are completed, the "good forensic evidence" collected from the scene will prove who killed Frazier.
But until then, shocked family, friends and residents will have to wait.
Frazier's children, Lourdes Frazier and Rodney A. Frazier Jr., declined an interview with The Sun, saying that they were not yet ready to talk about their mother's death.
Her son, who is on active duty with the U.S. Navy, said that his family, like his mother's relatives in Hawaii, have received little information about the investigation.
Born in Albra in the Philippines, Marcela Frazier, whose family called her "Cela," was known as a joker, her sister Nina Workman said. Frazier was described by her sister as a hard worker who was always upbeat.
In their weekly phone conversations, Cela would always make her sister laugh. During their most recent talk on Jan. 8 - three days before she was killed - Frazier was gushing about her recent promotion at Ayers Health and Rehabilitation Center where she worked as a dietitian supervisor, Workman said. Frazier was also excited about the fact that she had another grandchild on the way, her sister said.
Workman said she had no idea that conversation would be the last time she would ever hear her sister's voice.
"She was very happy and everything seemed OK," Workman said. "She loved her kids and she was telling me about her son's baby on the way."
When they were still girls, Workman said the family moved to Hawaii. That's where Frazier met her husband, Rodney A. Frazier, who was stationed in Hawaii in the military, Workman said. Her sister fell in love at the tender age of 20 and decided to move with her husband to the mainland and they later settled here, Workman said. They were married for 25 years, she added.
Frazier spoke the Filipino dialects of Ilocano and Tagalog, in addition to English, her sister said.
Over the years, Frazier flew to Hawaii a couple times to visit her family, her sister said.
Workman's son, Tamayo, said his aunt's body will be flown to Mililani, Hawaii, where more than 200 relatives and friends will hold a traditional Filipino funeral and burial service on Feb. 18.
The family, like the majority of Filipinos, are Catholics. Novenas, or prayers, are said for the nine days before the burial and the nine days after to remember the dead, Workman said.
Frazier will be laid to rest near her mother, who died in 2003, Workman added. It was her wish, if she should die before her husband, to be buried in Hawaii, Workman said.
Although dealing with her sister's death is difficult, Workman said she feels comfort knowing that Cela led a full life.
"She was a happy girl," Workman said. "I'm going to miss her."
Deborah Ball can be reached at (352) 338-3109 or balld@gvillesun.com

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