Woman, 90, dies after purse stolen

Monday, February 11, 2002

ST. LOUIS -- Grand jurors will decide whether a man accused of robbery and assault in an alleged purse snatching should face more serious charges now that the 90-year-old victim has died of injuries related to the theft, a police spokesman said.

Police spokesman Richard Wilkes did not immediately say how soon grand jurors could consider whether Derrell Dunlap, 20, should be held responsible in the death of Catherine Rogers of the St. Louis suburb of Florissant. Wilkes said the investigation continued.

Authorities said Rogers fell and fractured her skull when the suspect grabbed her purse as she got out of her car Jan. 15 at St. Stephen United Church of Christ. The woman faded in and out of a coma in a hospital before dying Wednesday, her relatives said.

"The neurosurgeon told us from the get-go that she probably wouldn't make it," Richard Rogers, the woman's son, said Saturday.

By her family's accounts, Rogers was spry and healthy, living on her own and loving to cook for family gatherings when not often meeting with the ladies at church to piece together quilts.

While hurt and angered by his mother's death, Richard Rogers said he doesn't think of his mother's suspected attacker meant to kill the woman.

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