'Person of interest' questioned after woman found slain near DeLand

BY CHRIS GRAHAM, STAFF WRITER click for original article, if it's still there

March 4, 2012 1:00 AM Posted in: West Volusia Tagged: Margaret Gee

Margaret Gee participated in a medieval role-playing group called Shire of Vaca del Mar. (Photo | Carl W. Glaze Jr.)

Volusia County sheriff's investigators have questioned a "person of interest" in connection to a 59-year-old woman who was found slain in her home north of DeLand, a sheriff's spokesman said Saturday.

Deputies were dispatched late Friday night to 88 Melodie Lane after Margaret Gee was found with "obvious signs of fresh trauma to her body," said sheriff's spokesman Gary Davidson.

Gee was found by her roommates at 10:35 p.m. Friday night after the couple returned to the home in the Domingo Reyes subdivision. The woman was found in her bed unresponsive and not breathing.

She was pronounced dead at the scene about 10 minutes later, Davidson said. The roommates had left a 19-month-old son at the house but the boy was unharmed, Davidson said.

After Gee was found dead, investigators were able to identify a man as a "person of interest," described as "an acquaintance," who was not at the scene when authorities arrived, Davidson said.

That person, whose name was not made public Saturday, was interviewed and released, Davidson said. He did not know how long the man had been questioned or whether he was cooperative in the investigation.

"No charges have been filed and the investigation is ongoing," Davidson said. "He continues to be considered a person of interest in the homicide."

Investigators have not released Gee's cause of death but the Volusia County Medical Examiner's Office is scheduled to perform an autopsy Monday, Davidson said.

By mid-morning Saturday authorities had left the quiet neighborhood off Woodland Boulevard, but neighbors were still abuzz about the killing.

"She was a nice person, always friendly," said Carol Ezell, who lived next door to Gee for about 20 years.

State records show the 59-year-old woman was a licensed massage therapist from 2000 to 2007. She owned the home where she was found dead, according to property records.

Gee was well-known by friends for participating in a medieval role-playing group called Shire of Vaca del Mar, or cow of the sea, in which members take on different personas and try to re-create the history of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance era. The DeLand-based group is sanctioned by the Society for Creative Anachronism.

Group member Stella Fullmer said Gee had once served as seneschal, or president. Gee had named herself Honorable Lady Nekhbet Alexandra Selene, after an Egyptian goddess who was the protector of Upper Egypt and its rulers.

"We're still kind of in shock," said Fullmer, the group's current seneschal. She added members plan to hold a memorial service in the future.

Gee could be seen dressed in costumes along with her husband, who died about five years ago, said neighbor John Madison. After her husband's death, she became less involved but could often be seen walking around the neighborhood and started dating a man, he said.

Both Ezell and Madison said they talked to Gee last week and she told them she and her live-in boyfriend had split up.

Staff Writer Andrew Gant contributed to this report.

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