Detectives investigating apparent murder-suicide in Borrego Spri - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Detectives investigating apparent murder-suicide in Borrego Springs

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BORREGO SPRINGS (CNS) - Authorities sought Tuesday to determine what prompted an apparent murder-suicide that claimed the lives of the longtime editor of an East County community newspaper and her estranged husband.

Deputies checking on the welfare of Judy Winter-Meier, 61, found her body and that of her 59-year-old husband, Jim, in their Borrego Springs home early Monday evening, according to sheriff's officials and the Borrego Sun, the biweekly publication for which Winter-Meier had worked since the mid-1970s.

Detectives believe Jim Meier, a retired park ranger, shot his wife with a revolver before turning the gun on himself, said Casey Jones, a reporter for the Borrego Sun.

Her body was found in her kitchen, and her husband on a living-room couch, according to sheriff's officials.

The staff of the newspaper grew concerned after Winter-Meier failed to show up for work Monday, a deadline day for the 4,000-circulation periodical, Jones said.

"She hasn't missed a Monday that we put the paper together, ever," he said.

The deaths were "shocking" news for the small desert community where Winter-Meier had long been a prominent citizen, Jones said.

"There's been people parading in all day, just in disbelief," he said. "I mean, these people grew up with her."

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