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Detectives believe suspects in 2013 quadruple murder likely still near or in Topeka

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TOPEKA, Kansas — Topeka police believe those responsible for four homicides last year are still living in or near the city.

Carla Avery, 45, was found seriously wounded behind a strip mall in Topeka on Dec. 1. Hours later, three others were found shot to death at Avery's home — Tamesha Lee, 34; Eric Christopher Avery, 43; and Marvin Lewis Woods, 56. Two of those victims had connections to Avery, who died two days later and was Eric Avery's sister and Woods' ex-wife.

A year later, no arrests have been made in the city's first quadruple homicide case, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/11IxmIC ).

Police Capt. Brian Desch believes the suspect or suspects came from Topeka and that someone knows who was involved. He is asking anyone with information to come forward.

Police don't think the deaths were random acts of violence, he said.

"I think they were targeting certain people, but, by the same case, I don't think we need people like that out on the streets so there is some level of danger," said Desch, who added a couple detectives are still pursuing leads.

The residence where the three bodies were found has been empty since the slayings. A neighbor said the house is for rent.

Ray Pesina, who's lived across from the home for several years, said he's seen at least three people view the house since last year but isn't surprised the home is empty.

The house also is the site of another homicide, when a 16-year-old died in 2007 of a gunshot wound. It was initially reported as a possible suicide, but the Shawnee County Coroner's Office later ruled it as a homicide after an autopsy.

Pesina also said he hasn't heard gunshots on his block since last December.


Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, http://www.cjonline.com

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