This story was updated at 7:10 p.m. to include comments from Wanda McGlover's family reacting to news that the county sheriff's homicide unit has begun investigating her death as a murder.
Updated at 3:45 p.m. Sept. 27:
The Riverside County Sheriff's Department announced it is now investigating the Sept. 21 roadside death of a French Valley woman as a homicide.
Wanda McGlover, 68, of Winchester, suffered severe head injuries and died later at a hospital following her injury last Friday on Brookridge Lane.
"In a cooperative effort, the Riverside County Sheriff's Department and the California Highway Patrol initiated a joint investigation to determine the circumstances involving this incident," said sheriff's Sgt. Lisa McConnell, in a news release. "The investigation is continuing. The Riverside County Sheriff's Department is the lead investigating agency with the assistance of the California Highway Patrol."
Prior to this, CHP was the lead agency. Initial reports pointed to a hit-and-run.
Following the news about the CHU assuming the investigation, McGlover's family emailed a statement to Patch.
"My family and I are very pleased with the decision to have the Riverside County sheriff's Central Homicide Department heading up this investigation and not the CHP," reads an email sent to Patch from the family.
"We will continue to cooperate fully with all agencies involved in order to find out who did this to my mother. This was a brutal murder and justice must prevail."
The sheriff's announcement followed a press conference earlier Thursday, in which the daughter of McGlover said her mother spoke to someone just before she was assaulted.
"You’re on the phone with someone and they get hit by a car, you don’t have time to say 'excuse me,'" said a woman who identified herself only as McGlover's youngest daughter.
The woman said she was on the phone with her mother the day of the injury, as her mom took her usual walk.
"I know that a car did not hit my mother initially because I was on the phone," the woman told the media outside the Riverside County sheriff's Temecula police station.
"Someone came up to her and either grabbed her arm or grabbed her from behind or something and she said ‘excuse me' to that person, or persons."
The woman explained that investigators' opinions that her mother was struck by a hit-and-run driver do not make sense because when a vehicle bears down on someone, “they don’t have time to say 'excuse me' to the car.
"It was not hit-and-run."
Anyone with any information pertaining to the incident was asked to contact Investigator Gary Bowen of the Riverside County Sheriff's Central Homicide Unit at 951-955-2777. Citizens may also submit an anonymous tip at the Sheriff's Homicide Tipline.