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Archive for Tuesday, November 3, 1998

EXPOSURE LIKELY CAUSE OF DEATH

November 3, 1998

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A Lawrence woman whose body was found Sunday near a highway intersection in south Lawrence probably died of exposure, but results of a Monday night autopsy weren't available.

Patsy Lesher, 71, was more than three miles away from her west Lawrence home when a passing motorist saw Lesher's body shortly before 11:30 a.m. Sunday. She was near the Kansas Highway 10 off-ramp, where the highway intersects with U.S. Highway 59 south of town.

Douglas County Sheriff Loren Anderson said Lesher's sister, Alma Smith, who shared a duplex with her sister, made a missing persons report just hours before Lesher's body was found. Smith told authorities that Lesher hadn't been home for at least two days.

Anderson said he didn't know where Lesher had been, but a motorist saw her Saturday afternoon in the area of the U.S. 59/K-10 intersection and asked if she needed help. She refused.

Anderson said there were no obvious signs of trauma.

"Right now, it appears to be exposure or natural causes," he said. "She wasn't hit by a car.

"We have no indications of foul play."

Lesher had her purse and was wearing a light coat. Temperatures dipped into the mid-40s Friday and Saturday night, and a constant rain fell Saturday.

-- Chris Koger's phone message number is 832-7126. His e-mail address is ckoger@ljworld.com.

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