Update: Ocala woman's death considered a homicide
Published: Sunday, December 30, 2012 at 10:39 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, December 31, 2012 at 12:09 p.m.
(Updated at 12:12 p.m. Monday) OCALA – Marion County sheriff's detectives are calling the death of Carolyn Wagner, 64, a homicide.
The woman's body was found Sunday morning in her home at 4802 SW First Ave. in the Lemonwood II subdivision.
"Detectives are calling this death investigation a homicide and asking the community to call with any information about the shooting or Wagner's activities in the last few days," sheriff's officials stated in a news release Monday.
Anyone with information can call Detective Rhonda Stroup at 369-6845 or Crime Stoppers at 368-STOP. Tipsters could be eligible for a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.
Woman, 64, found shot to death in Lemonwood home
(Original article) Marion County Sheriff's detectives on Sunday were investigating what happened to a woman found shot to death in an upscale subdivision south of Ocala.
Neighbors discovered the body of 64-year-old Carolyn Wagner inside her home in the Lemonwood II subdivision shortly before 11 a.m. Sunday.
Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Jennifer Lowe confirmed that Wagner was the person who died, but declined to release additional details about the incident.
Investigators are not calling it a homicide at this point, but rather a death investigation, added Lowe, who said more information would be released on Monday.
Sally Khan, who lives next door to Wagner along Southwest First Avenue, said she was walking her dog, Dakota, on Sunday morning when things at her neighbor's home appeared odd.
Khan's suspicions were triggered by the three-day build-up of newspapers in Wagner's driveway and an open garage door.
“It just didn't seem right,” said Khan. “That's not her at all.”
Venturing inside, she found Wagner in bed, lying on her side and partially covered by a quilt, as if she did not feel well.
But Wagner was lying in a pool of blood.
“There was a lot of blood,” Khan recalled.
Khan's husband, Amin, also went inside Wagner's house and witnessed the scene.
The couple said it first appeared to them to be a suicide.
“She looked very calm, relaxed,” Amin Khan said. And Wagner's home was in “immaculate” condition, with nothing out of place.
But they did not see a gun.
They called 911 around 10:51 a.m., and moments later sheriff's vehicles swarmed the quiet neighborhood.
Patrol and unmarked cars consumed the half of the dead-end street in front of Wagner's home in the 4800 block of Southwest First Avenue.
Investigators were still on the scene after 7 p.m. Sunday, and they indicated it might take several days to piece together what happened to Wagner.
Detectives declined to comment on what was found inside the home or what they believed happened.
The Khans recalled that Wagner, who lived alone, had said her son John, a lawyer living in Philadelphia, would be visiting over the holidays. Other family members were around as well, they said.
But wrapped up in their own preparations, they did not notice anything unusual at Wagner's residence in recent days, they said.
Sally Khan did recall that the garage door was open on Saturday, but she didn't think much of it because Wagner and her guests had been coming and going.
The Khans, who had lived next door to Wagner since she moved to the community in 2005, and other neighbors described her as friendly and pleasant, and she would often wave and briefly greet them when she got her mail or walked the neighborhood.
But, they added, she had a tendency to be private and keep to herself. “I think she was a naturally quiet person,” Sally Khan observed.
Her reclusiveness seemed to heighten after her husband, Roger, a 59-year-old real estate appraiser, passed away in September 2011.
Roger Wagner plummeted to his death after falling 40 feet from a cliff overlooking a site called Christine Falls, a popular tourist spot in Mount Rainier National Park near Seattle.
He was trying to photograph the falls when he fell — an accident witnessed by their son.
Despite the sudden tragedy, Carolyn Wagner rebounded well, the Khans recalled.
She did not seem distraught — even with the arrival of the holidays, which can be a time when suicides seem to spike — and devoted to herself to activities at her church.
She attended Grace Presbyterian Church in Ocala.
Carolyn Wagner, the Khans said, seemed at peace with her husband's passing because he was a deeply religious man and because it occurred while doing something he loved.
Roger Wagner was a camping and hiking enthusiast, having traversed trails in the Rockies, the Grand Canyon and the Shenandoah Mountains. “Roger loved being outside,” Carolyn Wagner told the Star-Banner last year. “He would always say, ‘I'm enjoying God's creation.' ”
Said Sally Khan: “She seemed to get over it. She did remarkably well, although you never know what somebody is going through.”
Contact Bill Thompson at 867-4117 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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