Deputies check out leads at Fallen Leaf |

Deputies check out leads at Fallen Leaf

Gregory Crofton

A woman found dead last week from a close-range gunshot wound has not been identified but El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department has several leads.

The body of the 35-to-40-year-old woman was found the afternoon of March 26 in a heavily wooded area near Fallen Leaf Lake. A South Lake Tahoe man found the woman while looking for a place to fish.

El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department believe the woman was murdered March 24 or 25 after someone walked her into the woods and shot her “execution style.”

“We’ve got two or three leads we’re following up on up on right now,” Sgt. Bob Johnston said. “‘We might have possible matches but we’re still not sure. We are checking out local leads and leads from other areas. By the end of this week we’ll know if these leads pan out. If they don’t we’re going to put on a big media blitz.”

Investigators said the woman was white, 5 feet, 6 inches tall, weighed 150 pounds and had blue eyes and brown hair. They found her wearing a gray and white pinstriped pant suit with a matching jacket and vest, a turquoise turtleneck and one black high-heeled shoe.

She was also wearing black pantyhose, glasses and a gold Claddah/Irish wedding ring on her left ring finger. The ring shows two hands holding a crowned heart.

The mysterious murder has left at least one resident who lives near Fallen Leaf Lake spooked.

“The reason it frightens me is it’s fairly close to my house. I live there alone,” said a 49-year-old woman who asked not to be identified. “And my sister and brother-in-law were murdered about 10 years ago. So I know it can happen to someone close to you.”

The woman recently moved to the area partly to enjoy outdoor hikes. With the recent murder, she said she doesn’t feel comfortable walking too far from home.

“I moved here with the idea I would take walks. I’m not sure I want to do that now,” she said. “I take walks around the block where I live, but taking walks down Tahoe Mountain Road – I’ll think twice about that for awhile. I’m already not sleeping at nights since this happened.

“What I’m hoping is it’s something that happened far away and that she was just dumped there. She was dressed in a business suit. It doesn’t seem like she was out there jogging. Hopefully it happened far, far away.”

Johnston said he doesn’t believe the murder was a “lay-and-wait-type crime.”

“This doesn’t appear to be, at first blush, a confrontation-on-a-trail-like-encounter because of the way she was dressed and the shoes she had on,” Johnston said. “Our assumption is that she was driven to that area.”

Anyone who has information about the victim is asked to call Detective Pat Tener at (530) 573-3013, pager (530) 291-4093 or Detective Steve Fleischmann at (530) 573-3015, pager (530) 291-9184.

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