Cold case researcher found dead in Florida condominium

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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. (AP)-- Authorities say a woman who was investigating the 2010 death of a Florida sheriff’s deputy’s girlfriend was fatally shot inside her condominium.

Putnam County Sheriff’s officials said 38-year-old Ellie Marie Washtock was found dead by her 15-year-old son on Jan. 31.

Investigators told news outlets that Washtock was a private citizen doing an independent investigation into the death of Michelle O’Connell, the girlfriend of St. John’s County Sheriff’s deputy Jeremy Banks. The weapon used was his department-issued handgun. Her death was ruled a suicide, but her family has questioned the investigation.

Because of that connection, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office was asked to investigate Washtock’s death.