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North Utica residents concerned over lack of information regarding motel murder

UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - It's been more than two days now since a North Utica motel owner was murdered and Utica Police still have not released how she was killed.

That lack of information is on the minds of the residents who live in that section of town. One of those residents is Dave Rodriguez. He says he understands the Police Department's reasoning of not wanting to jeopardize the investigation, but he says he would like to know more since the crime happened right near his home.

He said, "I understand that, but give us some detail on what's going on, then again. Sorry guys, I was up half the night. Now you're looking out your windows and it's kind of too close to home."

Police were called to the Davis Motel on Herkimer Road Thursday morning after a worker on the grounds found the motel owner, 68 year old Linda Turner, dead inside her residence on the property.

An autopsy was completed on Friday, but Chief Williams said he did not want to release the cause of death, fearing it would jeopardize the investigation.

Rodriguez says the loss of Turner is a big loss for the community. He said, "Really nice lady. She was out here all the time cleaning up her property and stuff, used to wave to everybody, real, real nice lady."

Phyllis Lewus also lives in the area and says she actually fears for her own safety not knowing what happened. She says, "I lock my doors, my screens."

Lewus says despite not knowing much, she has a gut feeling about what happened. She said, "It's got to be somebody close, that she knows, because these things just don't happen. And I'm telling you, you just don't hear those things."

North Utica resident Jim Leone says he's concerned not knowing what type of crime was committed. He said, "It could be robbery, it could be anything, you know what I mean. We don't really know, like there are no full reports on the news and stuff from police, so you don't really know what's going on fully."

Utica Police Chief Mark Williams tells investigators are following up on leads they have received since asking for the public's help on Friday, but he says us no information is being released on Saturday.

Police are still looking for Turner's vehicle which is missing. It is a 2001 black Toyota Solara convertible with license plate ODW916.

If you have any information, you are asked to call Utica Police at (315) 735-3301 and ask for the Criminal Investigation Division.

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