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W.Va. woman found slain

February 20, 2004|by CANDICE BOSELY

martinsburg@herald-mail.com

The body of a 20-year-old Charles Town woman was found in her Willow Spring apartment Thursday morning, police said.

Police say Jennifer L. Dodson was killed Wednesday night or early Thursday in the apartment at 308 New Oak Tree Court. The apartment complex is off Prospect Avenue just outside Charles Town's city limits.

Jefferson County Sheriff's Department Sgt. S.K. Harmon, the lead investigator in the case, declined to say how Dodson was killed. He said no weapons were found.

"We are actively pursuing a suspect," Harmon said.

Nobody had been taken into custody as of Thursday night.

A family friend found Dodson's body.

Paramedics who went to the scene asked for police assistance, saying a person was down and foul play was possible, Harmon said.

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Dodson was seen alive at 10:15 p.m. Wednesday. Her body was found around 9 a.m. Thursday.

Harmon said police collected evidence from Dodson's apartment and two other places. He said investigators believe she was killed in her home.

At the apartment complex Thursday afternoon, numerous children were outside playing.

Janice Jones, who moved into her apartment in December, said a lot of children live in the neighborhood, which she described as quiet.

"I think it's pretty nice," she said.

Jones said that she did not necessarily feel unsafe.

"Tragic things happen," she said.

A few doors down from Dodson's apartment, a man sat on his steps, eating dinner in the unseasonably warm afternoon. He asked that his name not be printed.

"As fast as this area's growing, I'm not surprised to see anything," he said, adding that he was mugged a few months ago at another apartment complex.

"This is one of the quieter neighborhoods," he said.

Most of the people in New Oak Tree Court have lived in their apartments for a while, although he said Dodson moved in not too long ago. He did not think he'd ever seen her.

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