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Body found in Beloit – Police chief won’t confirm or deny rumors about murder; AREA NEWS


Salina Journal, The (KS)-August 17, 2003

        BELOIT — Motorists and passengers stretched their necks for a better look Saturday while rolling past a barricaded section of East Fourth Street.

        Traffic was steady since word spread through the small town that a woman was murdered in a house in the 600 block of East Fourth.

        Beloit Police Chief Frank Gent would confirm only that the body of a 51-year-old woman had been discovered there at 3:23 a.m. Saturday.

        More than 14 hours later, not much more information was available.

        “We cannot confirm or deny” information from the public, the police chief said, only that the body was still in the house with a red-brick front, 622 E. Fourth, which was cordoned off.

        “The female has not been transported anywhere,” Gent said. “We’re still investigating the death.”

        No arrests had been made as of 6:15 p.m. Saturday, he said.

        Neighbors said Carol Fleming, owner of a hair salon in Beloit, lives in the house with three sons. Police would not identify the deceased woman.

        “It’s two houses down; you kind of have the willies,” said Dorothy Krier, 420 N. Poplar, just around the corner from the crime scene.

        Several patrol cars and other law enforcement vehicles were parked outside throughout Saturday afternoon.

        Neighbors quoted only rumors that were running rampant through Beloit.

        “All I heard was this lady got shot in the head,” said Nathan Webster, who lives behind the house at 617 E. Third. He was painting a vehicle in the back yard of his residence and was questioned by officers.

        “We’ve been having a lot of prowlers in the neighborhood,” he said, “stealing tires and tools.”

        Officers with the Beloit Police Department, Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office, Kansas Bureau of Investigation and the Kansas Highway Patrol were at the scene.

        The patrol’s Critical Accident Highway Response Team arrived shortly before 6 p.m.

        Lila Mitchell, who lives at 314 N. Poplar, said she was awakened early Saturday by chatter on her police scanner.

        “About 3 o’clock, all the cops were there. They had their lights a goin’,” she said. “The scanner said there was a disturbance at the home. Then they called for all the help they could get.”

        A worker at the Super 8 Motel in town, Mitchell said she was there during most of Saturday and heard a lot of “rumors” about what happened in her neighborhood.

        “You never know what’s the right one,” she said.

        Mitchell and Krier said they knew of Carol Fleming. Her husband, Chuck, died several years ago, Krier said.

        “They just sort of kept to themselves,” she said. “They had three boys tearing around a lot. If I couldn’t sleep, I had the radio on. It’s nothing unusual to see cars going by in the night.”

        Krier said she didn’t notice anything abnormal overnight Friday or early Saturday morning.

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