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October 10, 2003

Deaf Woman Found Fatally Shot 130 Miles Away From Home

From: Sarasota Herald-Tribune, FL - Oct 10, 2003

The Associated Press


Investigators are trying to figure out how a deaf woman who communicated through handwritten notes wound up fatally shot in an alley 130 miles away from home.

Suzie Proctor, 33, was found shot to death Tuesday after an apparent armed robbery in Fort Myers, far from the Brevard County city of Palm Bay where she lived, police said.

Acting on a tip, police found Proctor's van Thursday and arrested Travis Campbell on a murder charge. Investigators said they found a .40-caliber gun in the home where Campbell lived with friends. Detectives plan to test the gun to see if it's the murder weapon, since .40-caliber shells were found in the grassy alley where Proctor was found.

Campbell is denying any involvement. No information on his lawyer was immediately available.

"We've got a long way to go in the investigation to come up with the details," said police Sgt. Jim Mulligan.

Proctor had started a new job at Patrick Air Force Base on Monday but never returned home, a family member said. Authorities believe the woman drove near the alley, where there was an altercation and she was shot.

But police and family members don't know why she drove to southwest Florida from the state's Space Coast.

"We are all kind of numb from this," her cousin, Delilah Sweet-Boals, said by phone from LaGrange, Ind. "We don't know anything."

Proctor was born in LaGrange and as a girl would drive four hours a week to attend an Indianapolis school for the deaf. The daughter of deaf parents, she married a deaf man and had two children who could hear, Sweet-Boals said.

The couple later divorced and her ex-mother-in-law raised the children in Melbourne. Proctor moved to Florida about a year ago to be closer to her children. She planned to marry a man she dated for about eight months, according to Sweet-Boals.

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