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Gypsy matriarch found beheaded

November 17, 1994|By Peter Hermann and Joel Obermayer | Peter Hermann and Joel Obermayer,Sun Staff Writers

Mr. Pairo said Ms. Stevens was one of the oldest women in the tribe, and was respected as an elder.

Funeral plans were incomplete yesterday, and Mr. Pairo said family members were discussing what kind of service to hold.

Neighbors said Ms. Stevens lived a quiet life, and they described cars with out-of-state license plates frequently stopping by.

Gary Lehnhoff, owner of Lehnhoff's Exxon, down the street from Ms. Stevens' house, said she has known the family of the slain woman for 20 years.

'Pretty neighborly'

"I've seen them at carnivals -- they mostly run games, you know with water balloons and squirt guns," he said. "They come over here and buy gasoline or borrow an air tank once in a while. They're pretty neighborly."

Eva Sain, 87, who lives across the street, said she only knew Ms. Stevens in passing, once when they met on the street and another time when she baby-sat her goldfish when Ms. Stevens went on vacation.

Once, she thought about having Ms. Stevens tell her fortune. "I thought it would be interesting," Ms. Sain said. "But I never had the nerve."

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