PHOENIX - A woman was found dead in her apartment and police are investigating the case as a homicide.
The suspect, Kenneth Benson, was booked at the 4th Avenue Jail. He is accused of murdering the victim, 50-year-old Lori Bourque. He had just moved in with her weeks ago, according to Bourque's best friend.
"Lori had to be at that last cruise."
One of the last happy moments for Bourque was as she cruised around the Metro Center mall before it closed in June. She worked at the mall and it's where she spent so much time with her best friend, April Bryan as teens.
Bryan calls Bourque a sister she's known for decades.
“An incredible deep caring soul full of love for others feisty too she was sassy and wonderfully bold in the brightest way.”
The last time they spoke was nearly three weeks ago when Bryan says she learned about Benson. She says Bourque had been dating him and ultimately let him move in.
“She said that he had been maybe in an accident or something like that and knowing Lori she wanted to help.”
But on July 20 around 9 p.m., Phoenix police responded to an injury call at Bourque's apartment near 15th Avenue and Camelback Road.
"She was found in the kitchen.. he had used what I'm reading was a construction hammer," said Bryan.
Police confirmed a hammer was near Bourque's body and the gas stove was left on. Using probable cause, officers arrested Benson.
Bourque leaves behind an adult son. Bryan says she will always be proud of her best friend.
Bryan says she advised Bourque to stay independent as she began a new chapter. This outcome has been hard to accept.
“She was so excited about this apartment and I was so proud of her she was rebuilding her life and she had her independence.”
I did speak to Bourque's son via Facebook Messenger. It's a difficult time for him as you can imagine, but he just wants his mother to know how much he loved her and looked up to her.