The elderly woman, who lived alone, was found at the Romford property yesterday, with police saying she had been targeted in a "cowardly assault".
Police are now investigating, saying it was a "despicable" act.
Detective Inspector Paul Considine, of the Homicide and Major Crime Command, said it was believed the woman had been killed between 7.30am and 11.30am yesterday.
He said: “This is a despicable incident in which the victim, an elderly lady who lived alone, had been subjected to a cowardly assault that left her with serious injuries.
"She was discovered by a handyman working at the address."
The woman's next of kin have been informed, with a post-mortem to be conducted tomorrow.
Detective Insp Considine added: "I want to ask anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious to call police immediately; did you hear anyone in distress or notice someone in the area who may have looked out of place?
"Even a fragment of information is beneficial to our investigation. It is imperative that we find those responsible for this horrendous offence.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the incident room on 020 8345 3734 quoting reference 2714 of 15 May.
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