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Authorities: Waynesville woman's death now investigated as homicide

Photo of Huellen Love Poteat courtesy Diane Messer

On Thursday, Waynesville law enforcement authorities say the death of Huellen Love Poteat, 53, is now being investigated as a homicide.

"The death investigation is now officially a homicide investigation," wrote Lieutenant Christopher Chandler in an email to News 13. "The exact cause is not being released at this time due to investigation needs. I expect to update that in the near future."

Authorities are still not releasing the cause of her death. Chandler says police are questioning everyone who was at the residence where Poteat's body was found.

He also says the investigation is still "fluid," with no specific suspects and no warrants as of Thursday evening.

The investigation began after Waynesville Police say Poteat was found dead under "suspicious circumstances" on Tuesday, December 26, 2017. Police say they were called to a Kerley Street home that morning, just after 10:45 a.m.

There officers found Poteat dead in a bedroom at the residence.

A routine death investigation led investigators to discover suspicious circumstances, requiring additional investigation.

"She always saw good in people. She never saw any wrong on people," Diane Messer said of her friend. "Love did not deserve what happened to her, and we hope that justice will be served -- the full measure of justice." .

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday, December 28, to determine a manner and cause of death.

"I don’t know what happened, but I hope that ... I hope that we find out, and I hope that we know soon," Messer said.

Anyone with information in this investigation is encouraged to contact the Waynesville Police Department at (828) 456-5363.

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