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Family found dead in mobile home

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Gazette Staff
January 12, 2007
— Three bodies were found in a mobile home this morning just south of Janesville, and Sheriff Bob Spoden confirmed three suspicious deaths.

"There's blood all over the damned place," said a sobbing man who apparently had seen the home's interior.

Janesville Fire Department units were called at about 9:45 a.m. to Lot 37 in Janesville Terrace mobile home park on the east side of Highway 51 south of the Highway 11 bypass.

Spoden at 10:30 a.m. said the State Crime Lab had been called for assistance and was en route to the scene.

Angela Puckett, a neighbor who said she was the best friend of the woman who lived at No. 37, told a Janesville Gazette reporter that the residents at Lot 37 were Danni Lentz and her two children, Nicole, 17, and Scott, 15.

The Janesville phone book and a court record of a speeding ticket confirm Danyetta G. Lentz, 38, lived at the trailer park address.

Grim Rock County sheriff's deputies and detectives took statements this morning as shocked neighbors cried outside the white, singlewide trailer with brown trim on the southern side of the park. Some people screamed as they heard the news.

Linda Brickson, who was at the scene, worked with Danni Lentz at Community Kids Learning Center and was worried when Danni didn't show up for work this morning. That wasn't like her, Brickson said.

Brickson had tears in her eyes when she told a Gazette reporter that she called Parker High School and learned the children weren't in school. She went to the trailer and couldn't get an answer when she knocked on the door, she said.

Then, she said she called Danni's dad, Russ, at his restaurant, to check on his daughter and grandchildren.

"Everyone at the daycare loves her," Brickson said of Danni. "All I can do is say good things about her. She was jolly; happy-go-lucky."

Puckett said someone had tried to break into the trailer sometime earlier, which was why the window of Nicole's bedroom was boarded up.

"I didn't hear anything," said Kathy Van Zandt, who has lived in the mobile home park for 10 years. "I was up until 4 a.m., and I was outside a couple of times with my dog. This is not supposed to happen out here."

"I don't know how this would happen," said Puckett. "Danni would fight back ...unless they were sleeping."

She didn't take crap off nobody," said former mobile home park resident Mike Puckett.

Angela Puckett said that Nicole's boyfriend, who Puckett identified as James Werner, had tried to call Puckett three times around 9:30 Thursday night. Werner frequently called Puckett when he couldn't reach Nicole, Puckett said.

Neighbor Beatrice Jones noticed a car in the driveway at Lot 37 that usually isn't there weekday mornings.

"The car is usually gone by 7:35 a.m., but it was there this morning," Jones said.

Jones doesn't know her neighbors well, but said the boy, Scott, who lives in the trailer, watched movies with her young son once last summer.

"This neighbor is really nice, peace and quiet," Jones said.


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