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Woman found at Fort Wayne storefront identified; cause of death 'pending'

Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 3:20 pm

Authorities are awaiting test results to determine what caused the death of a 33-year-old Fort Wayne who was found Wednesday afternoon inside a vacant southeast-side storefront.

The Allen County Coroner's Office identified Dana M. Gersper as the woman who was pronounced dead at about 2:35 p.m. in a strip mall in the 4300 block of South Anthony Boulevard. The coroner's office did not say how Gersper died, listing her cause and manner of death as "pending" Thursday in a statement.

Another woman, who has not been named, also was found inside the storefront and taken to a hospital in serious condition, police said. Police said late Wednesday they did not suspect foul play in the incident.

Police first searched the area around the shopping plaza at about 1:10 p.m. after receiving an anonymous call in which the caller reported one "dead body and possibly another" across from the nearby Belmont Beverage store at 4308 S. Anthony, a police spokeswoman has said.

Officers initially did not find anyone in the strip mall but went back to the area and found the women at about 2:08 p.m. after receiving a second call from a neighboring business owner, police said. The business owner also reported a "strong odor" in the vacant storefront, but firefighters did not immediately detect the source of the smell.