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Woman Found Dead in South Euclid; Teen in Custody

By Autumn Ziemba

SOUTH EUCLID, Ohio — A 17-year-old male is in custody following the suspicious death of a South Euclid woman.

South Euclid Police found Jacqueline Gavorski, 65, dead in the driveway of her Ardmore Avenue home early Saturday morning, after a late night trip to the grocery store. She was just feet from her own back door.

Lt. Jeff Meyers told Fox 8 that Gavorski appeared to have suffered blunt force trauma to her head.

Saturday morning neighbors woke to crime scene tape and flashing police lights.

“[My neighbor] just told me what happened, that his wife was dead, and he just broke down crying,” said longtime resident D.J. Dohanyos.

Police say Gavorski’s husband was asleep inside the home when it happened.

“Mark [Gavorski] said he was sitting up waiting for her but he fell asleep. Next thing he knows, the police were knocking on his door and his wife was dead in the driveway,” explained neighbor Joan Brastoff.

Lt. Meyers said Gavorski was a night owl, who often ran her errands after dark.  In fact, officers who handle security at the neighborhood Giant Eagle store, just blocks from her home, knew her by name.

Gavorski’s nighttime shopping may sound unsafe, but neighbors said she had good reason.

“I know she had health problems, with asthma and breathing and that’s why she liked going out shopping late at night,” Dohanyos explained.  “Number one, it was air conditioned, it helped her breathing.  And number two, it was less crowded.”

Dohanyos says Gavorski has three adult children of her own, but really was like a mother to all of the neighborhood children, especially around the holidays.

“It’s horrifying that somebody could do that to someone so wonderful.  I’ve been living on this street for 18 years, and she was wonderful to my kids, always bought them gifts for Christmas, Easter and Halloween.  I mean it’s just a real tragedy,” he said.

Lt. Meyers said he suspects that robbery may have been involved.

The 17-year-old in custody has not been charged. Police say he lives just a few blocks from Gavorski.