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Advocate staff photo by DELLA HASSELLE -- A 61-year-old woman was found dead in her Lower 9th Ward home on Sunday from apparent puncture wounds, according to New Orleans police.

A 61-year-old woman was found in her Lower 9th Ward home after she had died from apparent puncture wounds, a public information officer for New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Michael Harrison announced in a release Sunday.

Distraught relatives who had gathered at the scene in the 1300 block of Reynes Street identified the woman as Margie Shorty, a resident in the home where she was found.

In a release, police said homicide detectives were called to the residential block shortly after 2 p.m. Sunday, after getting an alert that something seemed afoul.

Police said earlier in the day concerned family members had sent a male relative to gain entry into the woman’s home to check on her. The relative was able to get into the home through a side window of the house, and he discovered the woman lying in a hallway.

She had suffered multiple puncture wounds to her body and was pronounced dead at the scene, according to NOPD.

Information was slow to trickle to family members on Sunday evening, as many stood just on the other side of yellow and black caution tape marking off the crime scene, waiting to hear anything about what had happened from police.

As news broke that the death was an apparent homicide, many broke out into tears. Shorty's daughter, sister and cousin gathered around and comforted each other. Several described her as "religious" and "kind," and said they couldn't fathom what would prompt such violence.

"Margie would never hurt nobody," said her sister, Christine Forte, who declined to give her age. "Margie was a good person."

Follow Della Hasselle on Twitter, @dellahasselle.