Coroner: Nurse at CA mental hospital was strangled

AP News
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Posted: Oct 26, 2010 2:03 PM
Coroner: Nurse at CA mental hospital was strangled

An autopsy has found that a psychiatric nurse at a California mental hospital was strangled.

Authorities suspect 54-year-old Donna Gross was killed Saturday by a mentally ill patient in the courtyard at Napa State Hospital.

The Napa County coroner's office said Tuesday that Gross died of asphyxiation.

Jess Willard Massey was arrested Sunday for investigation of murder and robbery and is expected to make his first court appearance Tuesday.

Sheriff's Capt. Tracey Stuart says investigators found Gross' watch, two necklaces and a pair of earrings in the room of the 37-year-old Massey.

Stuart says a pack of gum Gross had bought during her dinner break was found in a trash in Massey's ward.

(This version CORRECTS APNewsNow. Minor edits. Corrects that gum was found in trash can, not suspect's room.)