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    Murder/Arson Investigation Surrounds Apt. Fire

    (Feb. 9, 2004) -- LBPD and LBFD are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of a 33 year-old woman following an apartment fire in the 300 block of E. 19th St. (near LB Blvd.)

    In a written release, LBPD says its officers were dispatched on Feb. 9 at approximately 2:20 a.m. to assist LBFD in connection with the fire...and found a woman outside the apartment, apparently seriously injured in an assault.

    A preliminary investigation indicated that the woman's pre-teen daughter awoke to the fire, found her mother unconscious...and ran to a neighbor's residence to get help.

    The daughter and neighbor returned to the apartment and were able to remove the woman, Deanna Gibbshenry, from the apartment.

    LBFD paramedics treated Ms. Gibbshenry and transported her to a local hospital...where she died a short time later. The cause of death will be determined by the L.A. County Coroner's office.

    LBPD says evidence in the apartment led investigators to believe that the fire was intentionally set...and LBFD arson investigatoirs are assisting police homicide detectives with the investigation.

    Suspect information and motive for the assault and arson are unknown as we post.

    LBPD asks anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious to contact LBPD Homicide Detective Mark McGuire at (562) 570-7244.

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