Family of Jamul murder victim grieving loss of ‘friendly and aff - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Family of Jamul murder victim grieving loss of ‘friendly and affectionate’ nurse

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JAMUL, Calif. (CBS 8) -- The family of a woman found murdered last weekend in Jamul has released more information about the 49-year-old nurse.

Melissa Whitby’s sister emailed CBS News 8 new photographs of the victim, whom the family said went by the first name "Lisa" and grew up in the Fresno area.

Whitby was one of five children in her family and worked at two local nursing homes helping the elderly.

She had been missing for about a week when her body was found Saturday by a hiker off Skyline Truck Trail.

The medical examiner said Whitby died of trauma to the upper body.  The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department has sealed the autopsy results and will not reveal the nature of the trauma.

Detectives served as search warrant on the husband’s nearby home early Sunday, according to neighbors, but Perry Whitby, 47, has not been named a suspect in his wife’s murder.

Melissa Whitby’s white Toyota Corolla was recovered in Spring Valley, detectives said.

On Wednesday, the family emailed the following statement to CBS News 8:

Melissa, our sister, was known in our family as "Lisa". She was a loving and kind person who had a passion for life and adventure. She wanted to serve others so she followed our mother's footsteps and became a nurse; to care and to comfort patients, especially the elderly. Melissa was smart, graduated from college at age 19, and loved finding ways to challenge herself with puzzles and board games or cooking up new recipes to share. Family, friends, and coworkers remember Melissa as faithful, friendly and affectionate, a true friend you could depend on. She was fiercely independent and determined, yet resilient to bounce back from any obstacle. Nothing could keep our Melissa down long! Our sister was taken too soon, but Melissa will always be loved and remembered. Your heartfelt thoughts and prayers bring comfort. Please allow us to grieve the loss of our beloved "Lisa" so we ask the media and public to respect our privacy during this difficult time. Thank you.
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