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Man held on charge in fatal bludgeoning of 80-year-old woman

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A Dubuque man accused of killing an 80-year-old woman in her home has been ordered held on $2 million cash bond.

Mark Fishler, 60, of Dubuque, had the bond set Friday after he was arrested Thursday on a charge of first-degree murder, the Telegraph Herald reported. Police suspect Fishler in the death last month of Berniece Williamson.

A family friend who was asked to check on Williamson found her body on July 15 just inside her basement door with a roll of carpet over her head and blood on the floor, police said. An autopsy later confirmed she had been beaten to death, and investigators determined jewelry had been stolen from her home and off her body.

A search of the house found white paint splattered across the basement and the stairs leading to it, according to court documents. Police said that while officers were investigating, Fishler pulled up to the home in a sport utility vehicle and dropped to the ground crying when told of her death. As he did, police noted what appeared to be white paint on Fishler’s elbow and shirt, as well as small cuts on his hand and chin.

Police said surveillance video also showed Fishler’s SUV pull up to Williamson’s home the day before her body was found.