HERCULES -- A sleepy cul-de-sac one neighbor described as "social and friendly" turned into a crime scene late Friday night when a woman was discovered dead on the floor of her Hercules home.

Investigators are treating the death of 55-year-old Susie Ko as a homicide, police said. The woman was home alone in the 100 block of Ash Court; no one else was reported injured.

The family's Subaru was missing from the garage, and there was what appeared to be blood on the floor near her body, police said. A traumatic injury to the head also was evident, police said. Ko's husband called neighbors to check on his wife after she failed to pick him up at Oakland International Airport shortly before 11 p.m. Friday, police said.

Neighbors found "her lying on the floor, in the front of the house," according to a Hercules Police Department statement. Ko was not responsive.

A resident said the neighborhood is so friendly that everybody "knows each other by face."

"I've been living here 15 years, and it's always been peaceful," said 29-year-old Nick Singh. "I got home after midnight from work, and the coroner was here and tape was everywhere. Freaks you out a bit."

The couple has lived in the house since the late 1970s, police said, and have several grown children who live out of the area.

Police said no arrests have been made, and they do not know of a motive. Homicides are rare in Hercules.


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Neighbors last saw Ko alive shortly after 7 p.m., police said, and investigators believe she was killed between 7 and 10 p.m. The missing car is a sky-blue 2011 Subaru Outback with Idaho license plate number 1A1F680 and is considered stolen. Police said the couple commuted regularly from their home to Idaho but did not say why.

Police continue to investigate the case. By late Saturday, police had removed the front door of Ko's house and a police dog was searching the neighborhood.

Anyone with information can call the Hercules Police Department at 510-724-1111.

Staff writer Tom Lochner contributed to this report. Contact Kristin J. Bender at kbender@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/kjbender.