Television camera crews show up daily at the door of the Danforth Street apartment where Sarina Towle, 2, was found beaten to death last week. They tape footage of the police sign warning people to stay away.

Neighbors who notice the cameras tune in later, hoping for news of an arrest or more information about the case. They learn little. Police won’t say much about their investigation.

Almost a week after the toddler was killed, people in this tightly-knit West End neighborhood are frightened for their children and frustrated that they don’t know what happened.

Some are angry at police for saying so little; some are weary of the heavy media presence. Many are taking precautions to protect their children that they didn’t take before.

“I sit here and see little kids playing outside my window, ” said Ann Stokes, speaking from her apartment a few houses away. “I want to say, `Go in the house, go in the house.’ And I think people will feel that way until we know what’s going on.”

Stokes and many others worry that the killer is someone they know, someone they pass on the street.

“There is someone who beat a child in the neighborhood. We don’t know who it is, and this person is walking around while my children are walking around, ” said Linda Stufflebeam, who lives one building away from the low-income housing complex where Sarina Towle died.

Stufflebeam said her 14-year-old daughter usually comes home at 8 p.m. after playing with her friends at the Reiche School playground. She came home earlier Tuesday, made nervous by people talking about the killing.

Sarina Towle died sometime after 11 p.m. last Thursday from “multiple internal injuries from blows to her chest, ” police have said. Her bruised body was found by her mother, Loralee Meserve, at 9 a.m. Friday.

Police say they have found nothing in records at the state Department of Human Services to indicate any incidents of child abuse or neglect in the home.

Meserve, her two sons and her boyfriend, Carl Bickham, were in the apartment last Thursday night and Friday morning. Police won’t say whether anyone else entered the apartment during that time.

Meserve’s two boys, ages 4 and 9, are now staying with her father.

Deputy Chief Steven Roberts said Wednesday that he sympathizes with neighbors’ concerns but can’t release information on any suspects or what police believe happened, because it could jeopardize the case.

“This is our top priority in the detective bureau, and we’re doing everything we can to protect everybody. That’s about the only comfort I can give the community, ” Roberts said.

He said detectives “have theories, but a lot more investigating to do.”

Many people have been questioned, and police plan to interview more. About 10 detectives are working on the case, Roberts said.

Roberts advised concerned parents to keep doors locked and not leave children at home alone.

But he said he doesn’t want “to strike panic in the community. We don’t have any indication of a serial nature to this. It’s a single isolated incident and hopefully it will stay that way.”

Still, the killing has left the neighborhood nervous.

Residents are on a first-name basis with their neighbors and call out to them when they pass by on the street. Many have lived in the area for years, some for all of their lives.

They stop to chat in the convenience stores at both ends of Danforth Heights, the 160-unit housing complex where Sarina Towle lived.

Residents say the killing has changed the neighborhood. People talk about it all the time. An apartment a few doors away from Sarina Towle’s has a handwritten sign on the door saying “No Reporters.”

People are friendly on the street, but a few on Wednesday heckled a reporter.

“I don’t think this neighborhood is going to be the same for a while, ” said Kimberly Henderson, who lives with her boyfriend and their two small children in a building next to Danforth Heights.

Henderson said she now makes sure all windows and doors are locked when she goes to bed even though the family lives in a second-floor apartment. She noted that Sarina’s bedroom was on the second floor.

Henderson understands that police have to keep some information confidential but says she and many neighbors are increasingly frustrated by the lack of information about the crime.

“It’s a week later and the neighbors need to know something, ” she said.

Stokes was caring for her best friend’s 10-month-old son Wednesday, much more carefully than she had a week ago. Because of the killing, she was rechecking the door and window locks when she went to the bathroom.

“This is not New York City. We’re not used to houses in our neighborhood being designated crime areas, ” she said. “I know bad things happen here. But when it happens where you can see it, it’s frightening.”