Death of Calera woman a mystery

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 2, 2005

The death of a Calera woman remains a mystery.

Calera Police Chief Jim Finn said an autopsy performed Tuesday morning failed to reveal the cause of death of Jennifer Kay Payton, 20, of Calera, who was found dead in a car parked in front of the Dollar General Store there last Saturday.

Finn said police must now wait for the results of a toxicology report that could take up to 14 months to complete.

According to Finn, last Saturday, at 10:40 a.m. officers responded to the Dollar General parking lot to an unresponsive female inside a vehicle.

&uot;Officers arrived on the scene to find the victim deceased. There were no signs of foul play. Officers also discovered a 6 month-old male inside the vehicle in good condition,&uot; Finn said.

Finn said the car was parked in the lot just before 10 p.m. Friday. And the 6 month-old was released by Calera Police and DHR to a family member.

Finn said the car had been seen parked in the lot the previous Friday night and the woman had been seen inside the store making purchases.

That next morning, Finn said, the car was still there. And when the woman was discovered in the front seat, a woman went to the Police Station to report it and police and fire rescue personnel were sent immediately.

Finn said the woman was lying in the seat and would not have been seen during a normal police patrol.

He also said a car in a parking lot is not unusual. And he said officers don’t normally get out to check such a vehicle.

Finn said the infant was checked out by paramedics.

– Fred Guarin