Carole J. Howd was found dead in a bedroom of her home at 8965 Corbett Road, between Wayland and Windham-Deerfield roads. Portage County Coroner Roger Marcial said he believes the victim died between 2 and 3 a.m.
"The death has been ruled a homicide," Marcial said. "We're withholding the cause of the death right now because it might impair the investigation."
According to an unconfirmed report from a source close to the investigation, Howd and the second victim, Guy Lantz, were beaten during the incident early this morning.
Lantz sustained multiple bruises and scratches to the upper portion of his body, according to a spokeswoman at Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna where Lantz was transported for treatment. Lantz was to be released today.
Portage County Sheriff Duane Kaley would not discuss how Howd was killed this morning, saying the entire situation was under investigation.
"Quite frankly, that's a determination that's going to have to be made by forensics examination," he said of the cause of death.
No arrests have been made while the investigation continues, according to Portage County Sheriff's Chief Deputy Dave Doak.
The rural residence where the death occurred on the north side of Corbett Road also houses LCI Computer Services, which Howd and Lantz ran together.
"At this point in time, the victim's stating that there was entry made by some perpetrator or perpetrators and that he believes the motive was robbery," Kaley said of information obtained from Lantz.
According to one of LCI's advertisements, the company specialized in custom-built computers, sales, service, upgrades and training. It also provided local Internet access, World Wide Web page design, and programming and networking.
The sheriff's and prosecutor's offices were called to the residence in the predawn hours today and remained at the scene at press time.
"The victim was found in her bedroom," Marcial said, explaining that he did not think the violence arose out of a domestic violence situation. "The police are still investigating whether there was a forced entry or not."
Kaley said Howd and Lantz were not married but both resided in the Corbett Road home and worked together for LCI.