Community shaken over murder of elderly woman

CEMENT, OK-- A Caddo County man was charged on Monday in Anadarko with murdering his own mother.  Cement police say James Randall Gibson strangled his mother, 78-year-old Opal Gibson. Sunday morning in her apartment.  He then left in her car.  He was arrested later that day in Oklahoma City at a drug rehabilitation center and was booked into the Caddo County Jail.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation says they are still collecting evidence from the crime scene and investigators say they may have a motive for this crime after the medical examiner completes the autopsy.  They have not determined if drugs played a role in the killing.

Neighbors were shocked  when they heard the news that she had died -- and police wanted her son for murder.

"You don't think something like that will happen right next door to you," said Norma Dawdy, Gibson's next-door neighbor.

Neighbors say she took care of her son and he was often in the complex, but there was never any trouble. That is, until recently. They say the son changed --- and then suddenly Opal was gone.

"We were such close friends," said Edith Ezzell, Gibson's close friend and neighbor. "We checked in on each other, and you could see the doors open... I'm just gonna miss her so much."

Edith says they were looking forward to spring so they could enjoy sitting together in the afternoon.

"Last time we talked together I said 'son of a gun, I'll be glad when it gets warm enough where we can put these chairs and things out here and you know, sit out here in the evening. And we were just waiting for that day, and finally that day came and I sat out there... and... (she never came),'" Ezzell said.

And now this community hopes there will be justice for this crime.

"I just hope and pray they get him... and treat him like he did her," Ezzell said.