MARTINSBURG, W.Va. -- Tina Stride fought back tears Monday afternoon as she stared across the street at the Martinsburg home where her neighbor, 35-year-old Katherine Nicole Sharp, was found dead at the end of a 26-hour hostage situation.
A decorative flag that said "America" waved gently on the side of the one-story house with white siding, blue shutters and a basket of bright red flowers hanging on the porch.
The yard was wrapped in yellow police tape, and West Virginia State Police troopers watched as a machine hummed in the doorway, apparently pumping out the gas released inside earlier by Special Operations Team members. Every window in the house was broken.
Stride, 39, pointed to a star on the side of the house.
"I remember when she hung that star on the side of her house," she said shakily. "She had just moved in, and she yelled over, 'Is it straight?'"