Peoria police hope to crack two-week old homicide

By WEEK producer

February 28, 2013 Updated Feb 28, 2013 at 11:03 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Two weeks after the murder of a Peoria wife and police say they have no suspects in custody.

Peoria Police Chief Steve Settingsgaard said a window was broken inside the residence where Denise Leuthold, 39, was killed and valuable items were taken from the Mossville Road home.

Settingsgaard said it is unknown at this time if the February 14 shooting was a burglary or if it was staged to look like one.

"We have a beehive of activity around this case right now and there are a lot of people working it and things are happening and it is moving forward. I'm hopeful we'll end up clearing this case," he said.

The chief said the department has received many leads in the case and they are currently waiting on forensic results from fingerprints lifted from the scene.

He also said Leuthold's murder reminds him of the cold case of Taji Cross, 20, in 2010.

"Taji Cross is something like the Mossville Case, in that a dead body is located in the house and there is no one around to have seen much," he said. "So, it's going through all the forensic evidence, searching the home, talking to people trying to determine what happened that day? How did it happen? And identifying any potential witnesses."

Settingsgaard said the department plans to re-open the 2010 murder of Taji Cross and the 2011 shooting death of Albert Billups.

He urges anyone with information on any of these murders to contact the Peoria police or crimestoppers at (309) 673-9000.

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