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A $10,000 reward issued in Barbara Howe murder case

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Police search for missing Monroe woman

MONROE, Ohio (AP) - A $10,000 reward is being issued for information helping to solve the murder of Barbara Howe.

Authorities say the body of a missing 87-year-old southern Ohio woman was found in the trunk of her car in the parking lot of an apartment complex.

"Middletown Police Department discovered the car yesterday around 1:30," said Monroe Police Lt. Brian Curlis.

Monroe Police Chief Gregory Homer said Barbara Howe's body was found Thursday in the trunk of her Cadillac STS parked next to a children's playground at the Woodridge Park East apartments in Middletown.

Howe, who lived in the Mt. Pleasant Retirement Village in Monroe -- between Dayton and Cincinnati -- had been missing since Tuesday.

"She was a  wonderful lady," said Stan Kappers, Executive Director of the Mt. Pleasant Retirement Village. "Always had a smile."

On Friday during a press conference, police said they are investigating her death as a homicide.

"We are...investigating this case with all the manpower available," Curlis said.

Authorities would not say how long her body was in the trunk, how she died, or why the car was parked there.

However, neighbors at the Middletown complex say the car had bee parked there since Tuesday, but no one paid it any attention.

Howe lived alone in a cottage at the Mount Pleasant Retirement Village, and there were no signs of foul play found there.

A 4 p.m. prayer service will be held at the retirement home for the residents. The event is not open to the public.

Everybody's got broken hearts around here," said Kappers. "She was a major part of our family."

Copyright Copyright AP Modified, Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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