Body found in Calif. apartment kicked, strangled

AP News
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Posted: Apr 30, 2011 2:30 PM
Body found in Calif. apartment kicked, strangled

Authorities say a 30-year-old Northern California woman whose boyfriend had been living for days with her badly decomposed remains was kicked and strangled.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reports that those details were included in a coroner's report released to the woman's family. Police said earlier this week that Heather Stearns had suffered potentially life-threatening physical trauma but declined to elaborate on the autopsy results.

Stearns' body was found in the apartment of 63-year-old John Clauer in Santa Cruz on Tuesday after neighbors complained about an unusual odor. Authorities say Stearns had likely been dead for more than a week.

Clauer has not been charged in Stearns' death, but is being held without bail on a prior drug conviction.

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Information from: Santa Cruz Sentinel, http://www.santacruzsentinel.com