Arrest made in teacher's death

Denise Hallowell was teaching in Marion County at the time of her death.

Before the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office releases more updates about Denise Hallowell’s murder, the agency is waiting for its detectives to tie up loose ends in the case.

No arrests have yet been announced in the Floral City woman’s July 13 homicide — specifics of which are still unclear.

“The sheriff’s office takes all cases of this nature extremely serious, and we feel it is our duty to the victim and their family to conduct a complete and thorough investigation,” sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Lee Carey said Thursday in an email. “Having said that, we are not releasing any additional details at this time.

“We want the citizens to know that the sheriff is committed to their safety, and that we are working tirelessly on this case,” Carey added.

Carey said sheriff’s investigators are urging those with relevant information on Hallowell's murder to call their Major Crimes Unit at 352-726-1121.

Tipsters can also remain anonymous and be eligible for a cash reward by contacting Citrus County Crime Stoppers by either calling 888-269-8477 or visiting crimestopperscitrus.com.

Sheriff’s deputies responded at around 6:15 p.m. to Hallowell’s home in the 4400 block of South Dodge Point off Old Floral City Road, according to reports.

They met with a person who said he saw Hallowell at 2 p.m. before he went outside to look for his dog that may have escaped through an open gate.

When the person returned to the house, he found Hallowell’s body in her bedroom. Hallowell was pronounced dead on the scene after attempts to revive her were unsuccessful. She was 57.

Hallowell was a teacher at Liberty Middle School in Ocala where she taught a class of children with autism.

She lost her teaching job in the Citrus County School District after the sheriff’s office arrested her in September 2015 on child-abuse charges, accusing Hallowell of mistreating her adoptive son, then 12.

Prosecutors with the State Attorney’s Office declined to file formal charges against Hallowell in February 2016.

Contact Chronicle reporter Buster Thompson at 352-564-2916 or bthompson@chronicleonline.com.

Load comments