Deseret Morning News Reporter Found Dead

Deseret Morning News Reporter Found Dead

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Homicide investigators were probing the death of a Deseret Morning News reporter whose body was found at her home early Wednesday.

Norma Harrison, a longtime Utah journalist, most recently worked as a general assignment reporter at the Deseret Morning News under the byline Norma Wagner. She also worked several years at The Salt Lake Tribune under the Wagner byline.

She was found by police at her home in the Avenues district after they received an incident call at 6:25 a.m., said Salt Lake City police homicide Detective Kelly Kent.

Kent characterized the death as possibly suspicious.

Detective Kevin Joiner said police would interview a number of people about the death, including Harrison's husband, Pat Harrison.

Rick Hall, managing editor of Deseret Morning News, said Harrison was "a very talented reporter. Obviously, we're going to miss her a lot. We're very sad. Really very sad."

The Morning News hired Wagner about two years ago. "We were aware she had drinking problems," Hall said. "But we felt she had the credentials to be a good reporter, and while she was here, she was."

Harrison worked at the Tribune during the 1990s. In March 2001 she was fired after she was arrested for investigation of drunken driving. Her arrest followed an alleged hit-and-run accident in which a Utah Department of Transportation worker was injured.

Wagner, then a medical writer, had been on probationary status at the newspaper pending treatment for a drinking problem. She had been charged with burglary after breaking into a neighbor's house to steal liquor. The neighbor, Steve Estes, said Wednesday he later withdrew his complaint against her.

Estes said he last saw Norma Harrison Monday night. Pat Harrison was at the couple's home Tuesday, Estes said.

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

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