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July 31, 2003

Authorities say death in Leon is a homicide

From: Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, IA - Jul 31, 2003

LEON (AP) -- The death of a deaf Leon woman is a homicide, authorities said Wednesday.

Melody Sue Jeffrey, 42, was found dead in her home lying next to her bed around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday by Cecil "Joe" Jennings, 75, who identified himself as the woman's stepfather.

Decatur County Sheriff Burt Muir would not disclose the cause of death or elaborate on the condition of Jeffrey's body. Authorities said the homicide ruling was based on an autopsy.

"At this point in time the population pool is our suspect," Muir said

"This is something that is unusual for this town. It's not something that happens every day."

Family members fought to keep back tears as they spoke of Jeffrey on Wednesday afternoon.

"We cannot believe somebody could have performed such a heinous act as killing my sister," said Jeffrey's brother, Garry, 41. "We just do not understand how somebody could have done this to a person who would not have hurt anybody."

© The Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier 2003