Family and town mourn slain woman


Published: Friday, January 13, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 12, 2006 at 11:03 p.m.
As police continued investigating the slaying of a 45-year-old wife and mother of two, residents here were overcome with shock and grief Thursday afternoon as many wondered why anyone would want to kill Marcela Frazier.
Frazier, who friends say is a native of Hawaii, was found dead in the laundry room of her home at 318 NW 3rd St. at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Police Chief Billy Smith said. The discovery was made when police were performing a well-being check on Frazier. Her daughter had called officers when repeated attempts to reach her mother were unsuccessful, Smith said.
Smith said the last time Frazier was seen or heard from was at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday when her husband, Rodney Frazier, called her from work.
Investigators found signs of trauma on Frazier's body and signs of a struggle in the home, Smith said.
News of the homicide spread through this town of more than 1,600 people. A 21-year-old woman who works at Best's Drug Store and did not want to be named described Frazier as a "happy and sweet lady who always had a story to tell." The woman said she has known Frazier's daughter, 20-year-old Lourdes Frazier, since kindergarten and graduated from Trenton High School with her. The woman said Frazier also has a son, 24-year-old Rodney A. Frazier Jr., who is in the U.S. Marines Reserves.
"She was a new grandma and she had another grandbaby on the way," the woman said as she paused from ringing up customers. "For her grandkids not to know her is a shame," the woman said tearfully. "No one could say nothing bad about that woman . . . she was wonderful."
On Thursday afternoon, several family members, including Frazier's husband, sat on the porch of the aqua-blue home quietly comforting each other. Rodney Frazier's sister-in-law, who declined to give her name, said the family was too distraught to speak with the news media and needed time to themselves to grieve.
"She wasn't just my sister-in-law," the woman said. "She was my sister."
So far, police have no leads and no suspects, but did recover items that may have been used as weapons from the home, Smith said. He declined to say what the items were, but added that there were no signs of forced entry or that anything had been stolen from the home.
"That's one of the things that's kind of odd and it doesn't make sense," Smith said.
Forensic and homicide investigators with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement were called to assist police in the investigation and worked with officers and Gilchrist County sheriff's deputies until early Thursday to collect evidence from the home, Smith said.
Frazier's body was taken to the Medical Examiner's Office in Gainesville early Thursday, and autopsy results are expected early next week, Smith said.
Smith urged anyone with information about the slaying to call police immediately so Frazier's killer can be found and the family can be given closure.
This is the first homicide Smith has experienced during his 2 1/2 years in office, he said. It is also the first slaying in the town in 12 years.
Some residents say they are scared that the killer still may be on the loose.
Libby, a Kangaroo gas station employee who would not give her last name, said she was surprised that a slaying happened in a town where everyone knows each other. She added that everyone is talking about it.
"The same people come here all the time and I normally don't see much trouble," Libby said. "It makes me more apprehensive. I'll feel much better when they find out who did it and why."
Deborah Ball can be reached at (352) 338-3109 or balld@gvillesun.com

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