Borrego's best-known resident murdered by husband - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Borrego's best-known resident murdered by husband

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BORREGO SPRINGS (CNS) - Authorities sought Wednesday 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's 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."

The couple is survived by two adult children, Travis and Whitney, Jones said.

Funeral arrangements were pending.

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