Forgery Attempt May be Connected with Reporter's Death

Forgery Attempt May be Connected with Reporter's Death

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A woman who allegedly attempted to cash a check on former Deseret News reporter Norma Wagner's account may be connected with her death, which police say is suspicious.

Wagner, 41, was found dead in her home Wednesday morning. Investigators have not released a cause of death.

The 39-year-old woman allegedly tried to cash a $1,300 check written on Wagner's personal account at a check-cashing store Wednesday night, officials said.

The woman has a long criminal history of forgery, theft and substance abuse, police said.

She was most recently released from prison in April, having completed five years of supervision for a 1998 felony charge, according to Corrections Department spokesman Jack Ford.

Police believe the woman is connected to Wagner, but would not specify whether she might have known Wagner or her husband, John Patrick Harrison.

Harrison was released from jail on June 26 for violating parole from a drug possession conviction. Friends and neighbors of Wagner did not recognize a picture of the alleged forger.

Harrison reported the death Wednesday morning and investigators said that there were no obvious signs of trauma. Wagner's autopsy report is not expected for at least another week, police said.

Wagner was a reporter for the Deseret Morning News for the past two years. She previously worked as a police, government and medical writer for The Salt Lake Tribune.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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