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Woman’s death in Deer River ruled a homicide

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DEER RIVER — Itasca County authorities say the death of a woman found in her Deer River home Wednesday has been ruled a homicide.

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Sonya Ann Smith, 43, died “as a result of multiple traumatic injuries due to assault,” the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office reported Friday. Officials said interviews and forensic evidence collected at the scene have led them to believe Smith’s death was not a random attack, and that they do not believe there is an ongoing threat to public safety.

Sheriff Vic Williams said authorities are not releasing additional details about possible suspects or what kind of weapon was used in the attack as the investigation continues. He said they hope to have more information available early next week.

The case remains under investigation by the sheriff’s office with assistance from the Deer River Police Department, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Ramsey County medical examiner.

Authorities received a 911 call just before 9 a.m. Wednesday about Smith’s death in her home in the 500 block of Fifth Street Southeast.

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