St. Louis area police employee dead in house fire

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police in St. Louis County say a police department employee found dead in her burning home was killed before the fire was set.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports (http://bit.ly/SSST9H) that 51-year-old Deirdre Exum was found dead in her townhome in north St. Louis County on Friday. Firefighters found Exum's body after they forced their way into her home. In a statement Saturday, police said Exum had been killed by "blunt force trauma."

No other details were released.

Exum had been with the department for four years and worked as a civilian armed security officer for the police department, providing security at the courthouse and the county government complex.

Police Chief Tim Fitch called Exum's death a major blow.

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