Archive for Thursday, September 6, 2001

Gunman remains at large after fatal shooting

September 6, 2001

The Johnson County Sheriff's Department Wednesday continued to search for a man suspected of murdering a 41-year-old De Soto woman in her Lakeview Heights home early Tuesday morning.

According to Johnson County Sheriff Captain Larry Jones, Melanie Sue Oliver died as the result of a gunshot to the head. The shooting occurred at 2:23 Tuesday morning in Oliver's residence in the 8100 block of Center Drive.

Another women present at the residence with her two young children reported a young Hispanic male burst into the duplex apartment and shot Oliver. He fled after the shooting. The woman reported the man wore a cap and covered his face with a blue rag, Jones said.

Oliver was taken to the nearby school complex parking lot to be airlifted to a hospital, Jones said. She died en route.

Sheriff's investigators are searching for a 22-year-old man thought to have information about the slaying. The man, variously known as Juan Crutchfield and Juan Guardado, is not a suspect in the case, Jones said.

Investigators have developed three or four suspects, but Jones said he didn't expect an arrest within the next three to four days.

The sheriff's department has responded to previous disturbances at the residence, Jones said. However, neighbor David Calderon, who was awoken by the gunfire that killed Oliver, said he was unaware of such events.

"She lived two doors down," he said. "I knew her a little as a neighbor. I never saw anything (suspicious)."

The shooting has disturbed the neighborhood's tranquility, Calderon said.

"We have no problems here," he said. "It's just families here."

Calderon noted the streets in the neighborhood were nearly deserted Tuesday afternoon. Normally, they would be crowded with children playing during those early afternoon hours, he said.

Nearby, Calderon's brother Miseol was changing a tire on his new pickup truck. He said he has been much more protective of his children since learning of the murder.

"I don't leave my kids alone," he said. "My daughters are staying inside."

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