Friend: Murder Victim Was Nurturing, Animal Lover
(Aurora, Ind.) – Friends and neighbors of Aurora murder victim Leigh Jennings say she was a beautiful person, inside and out.
Tracey Doss is a neighbor and close friend of Jennings. She and her husband, discovered the 67-year-old dead in her home last Thursday night after being asked by Jennings’ son to check on her.
Leigh loved her cats and pet sugar gliders. Anytime a new one was born, she would bring it to show Doss.
“I always loved that nurturing quality about her,” Doss recalled.
According to Doss, Jennings – mother to two grown children – was a very educated and self-taught woman. She cut hair for nearly a decade at Jim Young’s Barber Shop in Florence, where she was originally from.
Jennings’ alarming death has been a terrible loss for those who loved her.
“Our hearts are heavy and the pain is constant,” Doss said.
Jennings’ elderly mother, who lives just next door to Jennings’ place, is taking her daughter’s death very hard.
“Her relationship with her mother is what most people could only dream about. They were each other’s best friend,” said Doss. “Leigh was always looking out for her mother.”
Doss and her family are taking baby steps in getting through the shock of losing such a close friend.
“So many things, for the lack of a better word, have happened, and we are just now being able to accept the situation for what it is.”
Meanwhile, Charles “Steve” Stephenson is being called a person of interest, but not a suspect, in the murder.
Stephenson attempted suicide in his Florence apartment when he was about to be questioned by police on Monday.
He remains at Saint Elizabeth Hospital in Florence in protective custody.
Various media outlets report that Stephenson is a nephew of Bill and Peggy Stephenson. That 74-year-old couple was found murdered in their home in Florence in May 2011. The case remains unsolved.