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Palmyra slaying shocks residents

By Deanna Hohler Bottar Record-Courier staff write Published: December 2, 1997 12:00 AM

On Monday, shock and disbelief clouded the country calm as Corbett and her neighbors heard word of the murder of Carole Howd, who was slain in her home during an incident that also left her live-in companion, Guy Lantz, injured.

Portage County investigators are investigating whether Howd, 51, who was found dead early Monday, was killed by an intruder at 8965 Corbett Road.

But Corbett, who married into the name after which the road was titled, said she won't live in fear of violence in her neighborhood.

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"I've lived here about 70 years, all on the same street," she said of the road that connects Wayland and Deerfield-Windham roads about 10 miles southeast of Ravenna. "This never happens around here. (The road) had one robbery years ago, but I think it was just kids who wanted money. I'm not scared at all about things like that. Anything could happen."

Howd is believed to have died between 2 and 3 a.m. Monday. Guy Lantz, 30, who was in the home and injured during the incident, told the Portage County Sheriff's Office Howd was killed by an intruder or intruders that broke into their home, which also houses the LCI Computer Services company. Lantz thinks the motive was robbery, police said.

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Howd is believed to have been beaten to death. Lantz was treated and released Monday for scratches and bruises on his upper body and face at Robinson Memorial Hospital in Ravenna, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Howd's body was transported to the Summit County Medical Examiner's Office where an autopsy was to be performed today, according to Portage County Coroner Roger Marcial.

Sheriff's investigators and officials from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification took a plaster cast of tire tracks on Wayland Road at Tallmadge Road northwest of the murder site as part of the investigation Monday.

According to neighbors, Howd and Lantz were newcomers to the street and little known to long-time residents. One neighbor said the couple even left a bowl of Halloween candy out on their porch unattended during trick-or-treat hours.

Howd purchased the 14.8-acre property Oct. 4, 1991. It abuts property owned by Lantz's father, Aubrey Lantz, on Tallmadge Road due north of Corbett Road, according to the Portage County 1996 Plat Directory and the county treasurer's office.

Aubrey Lantz declined to comment about the incident Monday.

Lisa and Danny Writtenberry, who live near the home where Howd's body was discovered, said they wouldn't trade their country home for city living, but they're fearful of such violence.

"I took my son to the doctor this morning," Lisa Writtenberry said. "I noticed all of the cars over there, and I thought it was weird. We had been robbed before, and I was concerned."

A VCR, a gun and Writtenberry's handbag were among the items stolen from their Corbett Road residence in the daytime robbery five years ago when Writtenberry was visiting her in-laws next door.

"I'm scared to death, but I don't think it's like living in New York City or wherever," she said. "My concern is for selfish reasons. Is it somebody she knew or is it a random break-in? I would feel a little bit more comfortable if it was somebody that they knew. This hits real close to home."

Robert Iverson, who has lived on Corbett Road for 25 years, said he has never heard of anything like this happening on his quiet street. He said Howd and Lantz were new to the street and didn't talk much.

"I would imagine this could happen in Portage County but not around here," he said. "We'll have to watch things a little bit closer."

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