Woman found dead in Lake City motel room

Columbia County deputies say 60-year-old had trauma on upper body

By Corley Peel - Reporter, Steve Patrick - News4Jax digital managing editor

LAKE CITY, Fla. - Columbia County Sheriff's Office detectives on Tuesday began investigating the death of a 60-year-old woman whose body was found in a motel room just outside Lake City.

Deputies were performing a welfare check on the woman, who was staying at the Sands Motel on East Duval Street, just west of State Road 100. There was no answer at the door and neighbors said they had not seen her but that it was normal for days to go by without her being seen.

Deputies had the manager unlock the door and found Patricia Wood dead. The Sheriff's Office said there was trauma to her upper body and called detectives to begin a homicide investigation.

The Sheriff's Office said it has been in contact with Wood's family. According to neighbors, Wood's sister was the person who called for deputies to do a welfare check on Wood. 

"We were shocked because she never, hardly ever, came out of her room. She just stayed in her room all the time," said Diana Perry, Wood's neighbor of two years. "She was funny. She had a good sense of humor."

Wood's body was taken to the medical examiner's office in Jacksonville, where evidence will be collected and the cause of death determined. 

At this time, no suspects have been identified and the investigation is ongoing. Sgt. Murray Smith told News4Jax on Thursday that detectives don't know who might have killed her. 

"It's a whodunit. It's a true whodunit," Smith said. "We have no clue who did this to Patricia. We're going to find that out. That's part of the investigation is we're going to find out who did it and we're going to give some closure to the community."

The Sheriff's Office asks anyone who saw Wood or talked to her between 2 p.m. Nov. 30 and 2 p.m. Tuesday to call 386-758-1095. To remain anonymous, contact Crime Stoppers at 386-754-7099.

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