AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Thedward Candler, 24, of Gardena was charged Monday with one count of murder with the special circumstance of murder during rape and sodomy. The District Attorney’s Elder Abuse Section is handling the case. Prosecutors will decide later whether they will seek the death penalty. Severa Madrona, who had 22 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren, was killed Sept. 18 during her routine morning walk. Her body was found around 8:15 a.m. in the backyard of a home at 152nd Street and Eriel Avenue. She remained unidentified until later that night, when she was reported missing by the daughter and son-in-law who lived with her nearby. EL CAMINO VILLAGE: A Gardena resident is due in court today in the sex assault and death of a 76-year-old. By Denise Nix Staff Writer A man police believe was responsible for sexually assaulting and beating a 76-year-old El Camino Village woman to death last month is expected to be arraigned today in Torrance Superior Court. Tom and Virginia Bernard said they’re relieved Candler is off the street. “I can sleep,” Virginia Bernard said. Her husband said it seems like it’s been a long time since Madrona died and the pain had diminished a bit. But when they found out someone had been arrested in her death, all the emotions came back. “It’s almost as bad as the very first day because you relive – you relive the whole thing,” Bernard said. Sheriff’s homicide Detective Pat Nelson said Candler’s DNA matched forensic evidence recovered at the crime scene. Nelson would not comment further about where the DNA evidence was found. Investigators originally said Madrona was not sexually assaulted. Candler’s DNA was included in the state law enforcement’s database because he was convicted of a drive-by shooting, Nelson said. Details about that crime and the rest of his criminal history were not immediately available. Candler was paroled in August, Nelson said. Nelson said the sheriff’s crime lab gave Madrona’s murder high priority. Once officials identified Candler as a suspect, he was placed under surveillance. He was arrested Thursday. “The fact that this was brought to the resolution that it was, as quickly as it was, was due in part to the team effort of the crime lab, who recognized the danger that this particular predator posed and pulled out all the stops to get the evidence analyzed as quickly as they did,” Nelson said. He also said Lennox sheriff’s deputies who canvassed the neighborhood and distributed fliers with a composite sketch of the suspect were helpful. Nelson added that the composite appeared to look “very close to” Candler. [email protected] local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!