Relatives of a Winston-Salem woman whose body was found last week in a vacant lot say she was a good person who didn’t deserve to die.

Ollie Deneen Richardson, 54, of Sawyer Street was found dead in the lot in the 400 block of Liberia Street about 9:30 a.m. last Friday.

Richardson was shot several times, according to Winston-Salem police. Officers recovered shell casings at the scene, police Lt. Gregory Dorn said Thursday.

“She was a very caring person,” said Minnie Little, Richardson’s mother. “She loved people, and she really loved working with older people. She would do anything for them — clean for them and cook for them.”

Investigators believe they know how Richardson ended up at the vacant lot, but Dorn declined to provide further details. The area is about 6 miles from her house in the city’s northeast.

Dorn said investigators didn’t have any leads or suspects connected to Richardson’s death.

Detectives are awaiting results from her autopsy.

Police said last week that they are trying to determine a motive.

Gregory Little, Richardson’s nephew, said he believes that someone forcibly took his aunt to the vacant lot.

“She didn’t go to that part of town,” Gregory Little said.

Minnie and Gregory Little said they want answers regarding Richardson’s death.

“I would like to know who did it to her,” Minnie Little said. “I want them to pay for want they did.

“It was a shock,” she said of her daughter’s death. “I never expected that something like this would happen to her.”

On May 10, someone called police about 9:30 a.m. to report that an unresponsive woman — later identified as Richardson — was lying on the ground on Liberia Street

Detectives believe she had been shot earlier that day, between 4 and 7 a.m.

Richardson had personal items on her when officers found her body, but it’s unclear whether anything was stolen from her, Dorn said.

Her death was the city’s fifth homicide of the year, compared with nine in the same time period in 2018, police said.

Richardson’s death has devastated her family, Minnie Little said. Her daughter has three adult sons.

Richardson was born in New York City, her mother said. After she and Richardson moved to Winston-Salem, Richardson attended public schools and became a member at Solid Rock Missionary Baptist Church at 3010 Carver School Road.

Richardson often played her tambourine in the church, her mother said, and also enjoyed making jewelry and completing crossword puzzles.

The Littles said Richardson worked part time at a local appliance store.

Gregory Little said his aunt had a sense of humor and a good heart. When he was 5, Richardson would take out her artificial teeth and chase him around the house with them, Little said.

“She used to put them on me, and I was terrified,” he said with a laugh.

Richardson loved children, Gregory Little said.

“She was always in my life,” he said. “She made sure I was OK.”

Gregory Little said he’s struggling to cope with his aunt’s death.

“It feels like it’s not real,” he said. “It feels like I’m having a dream, and I’m about to wake up from it.”

Gregory Little said he’s certain that Richardson’s killer will be apprehended and punished.

“God makes everything happens for a reason,” he said. “ The (killer) must answer for the sins committed.”

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jhinton@wsjournal.com 336-727-7299 @jhintonWSJ

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