A Clairemont woman was critically injured after investigators say it appears she was assaulted inside her own apartment.
The 53-year-old victim lived at an apartment complex on Cowley Way with her dog that neighbors say they heard barking early Wednesday.
"We heard dog barking, woke us up. It was the duration of the time that got our attention," said neighbor Patrick Haffey.
The woman's boyfriend, who had been trying to get a hold of the victim, asked maintenance workers to help him open the door around 11:25 a.m.
When they went inside, San Diego police said the boyfriend found the victim critically injured.
"It appears as though she's suffered a traumatic injury, potentially an assaultive injury," said Lt. Kevin Rooney with SDPD.
The unidentified victim was transported to a nearby trauma center, where she died.
Neighbors say the woman was a physical therapist who has family back east.
She was a very friendly, loving person and she befriended a lot of people in the complex.
"She was a very sweet woman. She was very nice," said neighbor Steve Hernandez. "She always came by to our apartment and had a nice conversation."
Officers say no one witnessed any intruders and at this point, it doesn't appear that the home was ransacked.
"It's kind of scary," said neighbor Kirah Logan. "I've lived here for a while. For a long time I lived by myself."
Homicide detectives are processed the woman’s apartment for evidence and have deemed her injuries suspicious.
But the autopsy revealed that the head injury is consistent with a fall and has been ruled an accidental death.