Police believe Mrs Charlton's property had been burgled
An 85-year-old woman found dead at her home in Hull was killed in a "sustained and brutal attack", police said.
Joan Charlton's body was discovered at a property on West Parade at about 1500 BST on Thursday after a call from a member of the public.
Detectives said there were signs of a break-in and the property had been ransacked. The scene has been cordoned off and forensic inquiries are ongoing.
A post-mortem examination has shown the victim died from head injuries.
Senior investigating officer Det Supt Dena Fleming said: "This is a particularly horrendous attack on a defenceless old lady in her own home.
"Foresenic examinations are continuing at the property and investigations are on-going to establish the movements of Joan Charlton prior to her death.
"It is is not clear at this time how long Joan had been dead prior to her body being discovered.
"I am appealing for anyone who has seen Joan recently, and also anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area of Joan's home address to contact us a matter of urgency."