One dead in apparent burglary (with photos)

By WEEK Producer

February 14, 2013 Updated Oct 27, 2013 at 8:30 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Peoria Police continue to investigate burglary that left one woman dead.

Peoria County Corner Johnna Ingersoll confirmed the victim is a 39-year-old woman. Ingersoll said the woman died from a gunshot wound that does not appear to be self-inflicted.

Peoria County Coroner Johnna Ingersoll has identified the victim as 39-year-old Denise Luethold.

Police were called to a home in the 700 block of Mossville Road on Peoria's North-side around 3:15 p.m. Thursday after a family member called to report a possible break-in.

Upon searching the home, Peoria Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard said officers found a woman dead.

Autopsy results show that Luethold was killed by a gunshot wound to the head.

At this time there are no suspects in custody. Authorities are asking nearby residents to take precautions.

"For the folks that are living out in this area, I would say be cautious. I don't think we're in a position of panic but be extra cautious, lock your doors, lock your windows, pay attention to strangers in your area, strange cars, etc," said Chief Settingsgaard.

Peoria City Councilman Dan Irving represents the area and lives nearby. He said the neighborhood is quiet and established. While he does believe this is an isolated incident, he said the neighborhood did see an uptick in crime a few years back.

"Over that last couple years there was a rash of burglaries that took place. Those seemed to have subsided. So there has not been what I would call a lot of criminal activity taking place around this particular area," said Irving.

A neighbor across the street from the crime scene said her family has lived there 15 years. She said she is in disbelief that this would happen in her neighborhood.

"Any of the neighbors I've talked to, none of us are feeling panicked at all. Again we're just feeling really sad about the situation but I don't believe any of us feel any different, than we did when we went to work this morning, about our own safety," said Kathy Groves.

However, one neighbor said, with two small kids at home, she was feeling panicked, and even a little paranoid. While she did not know the family personally, she said her heart goes out to them.

"We'll be praying for the family over there and the situation for them," said Jamie Williams.

Police and the coroner's office are investigating the shooting as a homicide.

The coroner said the victim is survived by a husband and children.

Anyone in the area with information on this incident is asked to call Crimestoppers at 673-9000.

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