PLANO, Texas - The murder of a Plano mother of two children brought an outpouring of support for her family.
Sarmistha Sen, 43, was attacked while she was running Saturday morning. Police say the murder investigation includes a person of interest from a nearby burglary.
The go-getter spirit is what defined Sarmistha’s life, according to her brother, Sumit Sen. Her family says she loved performing at community events and helping others.
Sarmistha was a pharmacist and researcher who studied molecular biology and worked with cancer patients. And she was an athlete, running the popular Chisholm Trail nearly every morning before her two young sons woke up.
“She just immediately connected with anybody she met on a deeply personal level with a very infectious smile and energy,” Sumit said.
Sarmistha’s family says she went for her regular run Saturday morning and never came back.
Around 7 a.m. Saturday, police were called by someone passing by who saw the victim’s body at the bottom of the creek. Police say around the same time of the murder, someone broke into a house nearby on the 3400 block of Michael Drive.
Police arrested 29-year old Bakari Moncrief for the burglary, and they say he is a person of interest in Sarmistha’s murder investigation. He is being held on a $1 million bond for the burglary charge.
“We have our suspicions, but we have to have proof,” said Plano Police Officer David Tilley. “And that’s what they’re looking for right now is trying to obtain proof as to whether or not this individual is or is not responsible for her death.”
As officers were searching the area for evidence, neighbors came one after another to pay tribute to Sarmistha by laying pairs of running shoes near the site she was killed.
Dozens of neighbors hope to show support for Sarmistha’s family and honor her memory one pair of shoes at a time.
“It makes me feel inspired. She’s an inspiration for me,” Sumit said. “It makes me feel grateful to the community for such generous support. Her life is a life full of purpose and it’s not over. Her soul lives on.”
The medical examiner hasn’t released a cause of death, and police aren’t saying how Sarmistha died.
Neighbors are also planning a memorial run next Saturday at 6:30 a.m. Organizers say they plan to meet at Jack Carter Park and run to the site near Legacy and Marchman.