Residents, MPD discuss suspicious death' case

By By Erin Hilsabeck / staff writer
July 3, 2004
Nearly 60 people gathered Friday at Poplar Springs Drive United Methodist Church to discuss the suspicious death of Leota Brunson, an 83-year-old woman who was found dead in her apartment on June 17.
Meridian Police Chief Benny DuBose, MPD detectives Joey Boswell and James Sharp, and Ken Storms, the city's chief administrative officer, talked to friends and neighbors who were concerned about rumors related to Brunson's death at the Olde Poplar Place Apartments.
The detectives answered questions and asked questions to those who attended the meeting.
Detectives gave their most detailed report Friday of the questions surrounding Brunson's death.
Boswell said a neighbor called Brunson the day before her body was found, but did not get an answer.
When two neighbors stopped by Brunson's apartment the following day, they noticed the gate in back of the apartment was unlocked, he said.
After finding a broken window near the back door of Brunson's apartment, one of the neighbors discovered Brunson's body, which was covered up in bed.
The neighbors then called 911.
Boswell said the apartment was spotless, and that nothing appeared to be out of place.
Brunson's body had many bruises from the waist down, though many were at least two weeks old, he said.
Officers also found blood on Brunson's face, pillow, the floor next to her bed and on a dust ruffle. She did not have any defensive wounds on her hands or her forearms, Boswell said, and no cuts were on her face.
The way Brunson was laying in bed, however, is not how she would have looked had she fallen and put herself into bed, Boswell said. Preliminary autopsy results, which were made available on June 19, did not show a definite cause of death. MPD officials are still awaiting more autopsy results to determine the exact cause of death.
Investigators with the police department have interviewed about 15 people in an attempt to find more information about Brunson's death.
If Brunson's death was a homicide, the police say they are not sure if her killer was someone she knew.

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