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Mitchell Mother's Death Considered Suspicious

September 3, 2014, 5:00 PM by Hailey Higgins

Mitchell Mother's Death Considered Suspicious
MITCHELL, SD -

Neighbors at a Mitchell apartment building are wondering what happened as police investigate a suspicious death.

A 49-year-old woman died on Labor Day and two days later a lot of questions remain unanswered.

Police say Janie Sue McDougal passed away in an apartment on the 600 block of Main Street in Mitchell. They say after an autopsy, her death looks suspicious.

"Very hurt, broken hearted," Amanda Hiles said.

Amanda Hiles lives just a couple doors down from the Hilltop Manor apartment McDougal shared with her husband and 16-year-old son.

Hiles says she and McDougal were close friends.

"(She was) like family to me. She was really, very nice; there for me when I needed her," Hiles said.

Police aren't releasing the details surrounding the 49-year-old's death, only that it is suspicious.

Yet, Hiles says she wasn't entirely surprised by her friend's unexpected passing.

"I have suspicions but I prefer not to talk about them, just because of family," Hiles said.

"Probably a first for this neighborhood. This is a nice neighborhood," Betty Heidinger said.

On Thursday, an officer knocked on 85-year-old Betty Heidinger's door, asking if she'd seen anything or anyone suspicious around the apartment on Labor Day.

"They were checking a lot of people in the neighborhood, asking if they'd recalled anything happening around that time of the evening and be sure to lock our doors," Heidinger said.

Anybody with information regarding the death of McDougal can contact the Mitchell Police Division at 605-995-8400 or Mitchell Area Crime Stoppers Inc. at 605-996-1700.

In order to send a crime tip via text message, download the free APP. "Tipsubmit" on your smart phone and select Mitchell Area Crime Stoppers or text "MITCS plus your message" to "274637".

You can also go to www.mitchellcrimestoppers.org to submit a crime tip by e-mail.

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