Omaha police investigating whether man found in Regency Lake assaulted an elderly woman

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Omaha police investigating whether man found in Regency Lake assaulted an elderly woman

Omaha police are investigating whether a man found dead Wednesday in Regency Lake was responsible for the beating of a 77-year-old woman in a lakeside apartment complex.

Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine said investigators have reason to believe that Hunter Hawthorne, 21, of Bennington was at the Regency Lakeside apartments in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, when Jaqueline Leahy was severely beaten. Sign up for World-Herald news alerts

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Omaha police are probing a dispute between Hawthorne and his girlfriend that occurred Monday night or early Tuesday. The two had an argument at a west Omaha bar.

The girlfriend left and returned to the Regency Park apartments, where she lived with her grandmother. Leahy is no relation to the girlfriend or her grandmother.

Early Tuesday, a man kicked in Leahy’s apartment door. Leahy confronted him, asking what he was doing.

The intruder proceeded to beat the elderly woman so severely that she ended up in intensive care.Now, Kleine said, investigators are questioning whether the man either ran and fell into Regency Lake or tried to swim through the lake. Kleine said investigators were pulling surveillance videotapes to identify the intruder.In a missing-persons report, Hawthorne was listed as last being seen near Regency shopping center at 106th and Pacific Streets about 3 a.m. Tuesday. He was wearing a black T-shirt, black shorts and brown flip-flops.”There are no words to express our profound sadness,” the family said. […]

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