BAKERSFIELD - An autopsy performed Monday didn't answer any questions about how a Bakersfield woman died.
Bakersfield firefighters and police found the body of Clara Basta inside her burning south Bakersfield home over the weekend. They are calling her death suspicious and say a few small fires were set, but that's about all.
The coroner says additional studies are pending to determine the cause of death.
Friends of Clara Basta posted pictures of the 56-year-old after her body was found in her home on Kilkenny Court early Saturday morning.
"I mean it's a shock. I mean we are all in shock as a neighborhood," said Elizabeth Rios, who lives across the street.
Firefighters called out for reports of smoke, found fires that were set and Basta's body in the garage. Police will not say if there were any signs of trauma, weapons found, or if anything was taken from the home. They're just calling her death suspicious. Basta's car that was missing after the fire was found abandoned Sunday, but again police will not say where or when.
17 News did learn from neighbors Basta had a female roommate.
"We believe we've already located her. We are just waiting on a phone call back," said Bakersfield Police Sergeant Frank Gonzalez on Saturday.
On Monday, police would not say if they had spoken with her. On Monday, it was clear no one was at the house. It's now marked unsafe and the garage door is covered in plywood. Nearby neighbors say investigators haven't filled them in about what happened either.
"I mean we want to know what's going on. I mean, we want to keep our neighborhood safe. We can't even be out here comfortable. We have to pay attention to our surroundings," said Rios.
Through Facebook posts and pictures, 17 News learned Basta was a cancer survivor and had walked the survivor's lap at the Relay for Life event. And, Basta recently retired from Stella Hills Elementary School where she was an office clerk. While she was close with staff, the school district would not allow them to talk to 17 News since the investigation is ongoing.
Investigators have not named any person of interest or suspects or motive. And, it's unclear how long the next coroner's results will take to determine Basta's cause of death.