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Nicole Lentz, (17) her mother and brother were all found slain in a mobile home
Published: Jan 16, 2007 @ 12:09 PM
Nicole Lentz (17)
Jan 12, 2007
Cause of Death:
Homicide (Method Unknown)
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A woman and her two teenage children were found slain in a mobile home just outside Janesville Friday morning.
Rock County Sheriff Bob Spoden said a family member discovered the bodies of Danyetta Lentz, 38, and her children and called police about 9:30 a.m. He said investigators were still trying to determine how the three died, but each was believed to be the victim of a homicide.
"Our officers and detectives will be working around the clock on this horrendous crime," Spoden said.
No suspects had been identified yet, and detectives focused Friday on learning each victim's background, he said. Autopsies were scheduled Saturday in Madison.
Friday afternoon, investigators interviewed workers at Community Action Daycare, where Lentz worked.
Community Action is an anti-poverty organization that runs a number of programs in Rock and Walworth counties. Executive director Lisa Furseth described Lentz as a "tender but firm teacher" who worked with 2 to 4 year olds and had been at work Thursday.
Lentz, who taught at the daycare since 1996, lived a tough life as a single mother, Furseth said.
"Lots of days, life wasn't easy for her but she put the best spin on it that she could," she said. "She always tried to see the best of things."
Neighbors gathered outside the home Lentz had shared with her 17-year-old daughter, Nicole, and 14-year-old son, Scott. Some cried and screamed when they heard the news.
Neighbor Angela Puckett said Lentz was her best friend, a devoted mother who didn't want a boyfriend because she was so focused on raising her children.
"I'm devastated," Puckett said. "They are like the nicest people. Her whole life was the kids."
Puckett said Lentz's father discovered the bodies. She said he went to the trailer after Lentz didn't show up for work and the kids didn't show up for class at Janesville Parker High School.
Lentz's former husband lives in Texas, and neither she nor her children had any known problems or enemies, Puckett said.
"This is why this is a shock to all of us," she said.
Police tape surrounded Lentz's white and brown trailer Friday afternoon. Investigators went in and out and milled about outside. The state crime lab and Janesville Fire Department also had responded to the scene.
The trailer park is on the outskirts of Janesville just up the road from the Rock County Airport. A number of worn and battered homes in the park contrasted with other units that had well-kept lawns and facades.
Kathy Kahl, 49, said she just moved into a trailer in the park a month ago. Her bedroom nearly abuts the trailer where the bodies were found, but she said she heard no commotion of any sort over the last few days.
Another neighbor Bruce Davis, 54, said there had been a rash of break-ins around the park over the past few weeks.
"I'm sure people right now have guns loaded," he said.
Mother & Teens Found Dead In Home Near Janesville
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