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Police following leads in Spotsylvania slaying

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No suspects have been identified in the Sunday homicide of a Spotsylvania County woman, but police continue to follow strong leads.

Nancy “Lynne” Mercer worked the 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift as a nurse at the MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, and it was unusual for her to not show up for work.

When more than four hours went by without a word from her, her supervisors called police.

At 11:40 p.m. Sunday, deputies responded to a residence in the 7800 block of Eastridge Way, where they found the body of the 58-year-old lying on the floor.

The residence is off Hickory Ridge Road west of U.S. 1 in the Thornburg area. Police said the door was unlocked.

Capt. Jeff Pearce of the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office said detectives are following up on strong leads found at the scene.

Her body was transported to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Richmond for an autopsy, Pearce said.

He did not comment on the cause of death pending autopsy results, but neighbors claim to have heard gunshots.

“I heard four shots, one right after the other,” Pat Collins told NBC4.

Neighbor Robert Ezzell said he didn’t hear or see anything, but police repeatedly asked him if he heard multiple shots that night.

Pearce said Mercer lived alone in the house and had six children and 10 grandchildren. He said she was an animal lover and animal control deputies had to remove seven pets, including dogs and birds, from the home after her death.

MedStar Washington Hospital Center officials released the following statement:

“The MedStar family is saddened to learn of the death of Nancy Mercer, an employee at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. We extend our deepest sympathies and prayers to Nancy’s entire family, as well as her friends and colleagues.”

Anyone with information regarding this death is asked to contact the Spotsylvania Sheriff’s Office at 540/582-7115 or anonymously by texting SEE911 to CRIMES (274637).

Portsia Smith: 540/374-5419