Sheriff: Phelps woman killed by someone she knew; alcohol involv - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Sheriff: Phelps woman killed by someone she knew; alcohol involved

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PHELPS (WAOW) - Investigators believe a 47-year-old woman found dead on a snowmobile trail near Phelps was killed by someone she knew and alcohol was involved, Vilas County Sheriff Joe Fath said Wednesday.

The partially clothed body of Luann Beckman was discovered May 17 by some people out for a walk. Investigators have said they are "fairly confident" she was killed the night of May 15.

No one has been arrested.

Three detectives working the case are following leads and "talking to a lot of people," Fath said in a telephone interview from Eagle River.

Asked whether there was a person of interest in the killing, Fath said, "I can't say we are focusing on anyone specific."

Beckman was last seen riding her bicycle in Phelps about 4:30 p.m. May 15 and later she was captured on video buying a bottle of liquor at a local convenience store, Fath said.

Her bicycle and the bottle of liquor were found near her body. She wasn't wearing her shirt but she was not sexually assaulted, the sheriff said.

"I think the shirt came off when she was pulled down a small hill," Fath said.

Investigators are awaiting final autopsy and forensic testing results, he said.

Asked what the preliminary autopsy indicated about a cause of death, Fath said that information is not being released.

Beckman lived in Phelps for a time, moved to Florida for up to three years and moved back to Phelps in April to live with her mother, the sheriff said.

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