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Woman found murdered in her Lancaster home; 2nd murder this week

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LANCASTER, SC (WBTV) - Police in Lancaster are investigating after a woman was murdered in her home, the city's second murder this week.

According to the Lancaster Police Department, officers are investigating a homicide on East Dunlap Street, near Willow Lake. 

Lancaster County Coroner Mike Morris told WBTV that the victim has been identified as 47-year-old Cinthia Denise "Fruity" Barnes.

Morris says someone called 911 officials were called between 7:25 and 7:30 a.m. Thursday morning.

WBTV was told by neighbors that Barnes was stabbed and shot, but investigators say she was found with an apparent gunshot wound. Investigators with the State Law Enforcement Division are also taking part in the investigation.

Neighbor Phelathia Stewart says she became concerned when they didn't see Barnes at the school bus stop with her neighbor's disabled son, which she does every day. They say a few minutes later they heard police arrive at the home and knew something was wrong.

"It didn't matter what the weather was, it didn't matter she was always here to see him on that bus," said Stewart. "She'd (Barnes) stand and wait till his bus comes and then she'd go home.  I looked for her this morning but she never showed up."

Morris told WBTV that Barnes was found deceased in the bedroom of her home, but she was not found in bed.

Barnes' roommate talked with WBTV's Trent Faris on Thursday afternoon.

She said that she had just gotten home from her third-shift job when she saw Barnes' body. She told WBTV that she called 911 and asked for emergency crews.

She said both women lived in the house with their boyfriends, who are father and son. She told WBTV that Barnes' boyfriend also works overnights and his son is working out of town.

The roommate told WBTV that the bedroom appeared to be the only room where something happened, saying the living room was not ransacked.

This is the second murder this week, after former professional baseball player Danny Clyburn, Junior was shot and killed at a home on North Market Street.

Previous article: Former pro baseball player killed in Lancaster shooting, police say

Thirty-six-year-old Derrick Lamont McIlwain was arrested in Clyburn's death.  He was charged with Murder and Possession of a Firearm during the commission of a violent crime.

The two murders are just a mile apart and officers are still investigating a third shooting in the same area.

Previous article: Police searching for armed man after shooting in Lancaster

In that case, a man was shot multiple times along the 2000 block of Pardue Street last Monday night.

It's too much violence for Barnes friend of 30 years Deborah Hinson.

"So we're going to have to come together and take control and let these people know this is not life this is not what God wants," said Hinson.

Signs saying "We are Lancaster" are posted all over town trying to band together after a recent CNN report about how life was bad here in this once booming textile town.

Chief Harlene Howard says Lancaster is still a safe place to live.

"People are fearful but I'm hoping some good will come out of it in that the citizens will come together more," said Howard.

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