Hopewell police investigating beating death

HOPEWELL, VA (WWBT) – An ailing vet left clinging to life after a brutal beating in his home has died. Now the search is on for those responsible for the savage attack.

This is the city's first homicide of the year. The victim is 64-year-old Richard Wimmer. The medical examiner says he died from a blunt force injury to the head.

Loved ones are heartbroken: the crime scene tape is just a small indication of what happened inside this home in the 600 block of Eppes Street in Hopewell.

The man who lived here, Richard Wimmer, was found inside Monday evening with life threatening injuries. He died Thursday from those injuries. Dreama Benson and other family members are heartbroken.

"I can't believe such violence could even occur -- to know he was attacked in such a brutal way that ended his life," Dreama said.

Neighbors have started a makeshift memorial in front of Wimmer's home. They're worried about a killer being on the loose.

"I'm concerned that somebody would do that to somebody that age and with those problems. I'm a little afraid  to live around here now because of what happened," Jeff Walter said.

Those problems are health issues Wimmer was fighting. Jeff Walter says Wimmer was the kind of guy who'd always lend a helping hand.

"He'd bring me a paper over every Saturday. He'd carry me to places I needed to go," Walter said.

Another neighbor, John Mertz, has known Wimmer for 15 years.

"When it hits home, it's hard especially someone you live so close too," he said.

Mertz says it's hard to image his friend being attacked.

"Richard was not a small man. He was 6-something close to 400 pounds - he could put up a fight," John said.

Now, Wimmer's family is fighting for answers about who's responsible for his death of their loved one.

"He was a very sweet man. You'd go over and talk to him and he's as sweet as can be. He's definitely going to be missed," Dreama added.

Police aren't releasing many details about this case. They won't say if Wimmer was targeted or if the assault was random. They also would not talk about how the killer got into Wimmer's home.

Loved ones tell me they're also having a hard time getting information from investigators. If you have any information on this case, call Hopewell police or Crime Solvers at 541-2202.

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