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News Jackson woman fatally shot by uncle

A Jackson County woman was shot and killed in the early morning hours of Feb. 18 by her uncle, who allegedly mistook her for an intruder, according to Jackson authorities.

Sometime before 3:30 a.m., 24-year-old Hannah Kathryn Frey entered her uncle’s residence on 62 Southview Meadow in the Whittier community. According to a statement by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, officers were notified that she was accidentally shot by her uncle in the neck upon entering the home.

“Initial observations indicate that the uncle, who was identified as James Dennis Eller, 49, suspected that someone was breaking into his residence and went to inquire as to what was going on,” said the statement. “Upon realization as to what had happened, 9-1-1 was called and medical assistance was requested.”

After authorities arrived, Frey was transported to MedWest Harris Hospital in Sylva, where she was pronounced dead.

Authorities have not been able to comment on the investigation of the death, which is ongoing. Findings will be presented to the District Attorney’s Office for review. Jackson detectives are being assisted in the case by State Bureau of Investigation.

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