Suspicious death in Slidell ruled a homicide; victim’s niece in custody

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SLIDELL, La. — Slidell Police detectives have determined that the suspicious death they investigated on Paige Court Monday was a homicide.

Police found the victim, 65-year-old Dianne Bercy, in her home at 1005 Paige Court while performing a welfare check. Her sister told police she had not heard from Bercy in several days.

Bercy had “unusual injuries,” police said, and her vehicle was also missing from the home. Investigators determined that she had been stabbed multiple times.

Kenya Despenza, 39, Bercy’s niece, has been identified as a person-of-interest. Despenza reportedly was in possession of Bercy’s vehicle. She’s been booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail on charges of theft of a motor vehicle and an unrelated warrant for failure to appear.

She has not been arrested in connection with Bercy’s death.

Police said they are confident an arrest will be made in coming days.

Check back for updates.

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