Death of woman ruled suspicious

Published: Friday, April 1, 2005 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, March 31, 2005 at 11:22 p.m.
The death of a woman who was found inside her burning mobile home two weeks ago has now been classified as suspicious, involving foul play, according to the Alachua County Sheriff's Office.
After reviewing preliminary autopsy and forensic reports and witness interviews, detectives ruled the death of Wende Pierce Ellinger, 34, as suspicious, according to a news release. Detectives have information that Ellinger had been at the Gainesville Ale House, 3950 Archer Road, during the evening hours of March 16 and into the early morning hours of March 17.
Ellinger, who was born in Memphis and lived in Pembroke Pines until moving to the area in 1990, was found dead inside her burning doublewide mobile home at 10207 SW 84th Ave. in Kanapaha Highlands. The mother of three lived alone at the home and her children often visited her, neighbors said.
The cause of the fire also is under investigation.
Detectives are asking anyone who has information about who was seen talking with or leaving the restaurant with Ellinger to contact them at (352) 955-1818. Callers who wish to remain anonymous may also call Crime Stoppers at (352) 372-7867. Tipsters are eligible for a reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest.
The Sheriff's Office also is asking that anyone who contacted Ellinger in person, electronically or by phone to call detectives so they can determine her exact whereabouts through midnight March 17.
Debbie Ball can be reached at (352) 338-3109 or

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