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Published: Wednesday, 6/20/2007

Paulding homicide victim from Indiana

CECIL, Ohio The family of the 38-year-old Indiana woman found murdered in Paulding County this weekend say they know little about how or why she died but will remember her as a good person who went through tough times.

Sherry Holland, of Richmond, Ind., said it "breaks my heart" that her aunt, Teresa L. Smith, was shot to death on Saturday and that police have no motive and no suspects.

She had a hard time for the last 18 years or so, but she was a good-hearted person," Ms. Holland said, adding that she and her sister, Crystal Lear, had many good memories of their aunt.

Ms. Holland said her aunt was a high school graduate and was the mother of three children.

Smith, whose last known address was in Brownsville, west of Liberty, Ind., was identified by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation in Bowling Green based on her fingerprints, the Paulding County sheriff said.

Smith served time on a theft conviction in Union County Jail in Liberty, south of Richmond, in 2003 and then in one of the Indiana Department of Correction facilities in 2004. She later did time on a probation violation conviction in 2005, again in Union County Jail, Union County sheriff s deputies said.

Smith s partially clothed body was found about 2 p.m. Saturday near Paulding County Roads 87 and 180 southwest of Cecil, which is about 65 miles southwest of Toledo.

She "died from a gunshot wound and is believed to have been killed where she was found," Paulding County Sheriff David Harrow said in a news release Monday.

Dr. Larry Fishbaugh, Paulding County coroner, referred questions about Smith s autopsy, which was conducted by the Lucas County Coroner s Office, to Sheriff Harrow, who released no new details today.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com



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