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Neighbors remember Woodlake homicide victim

Thursday, January 05, 2012

South Valley police say they have several leads to help them find out who killed a 68-year old Woodlake man. The body of Paul Ennis was discovered in his home near the intersection of Pepper and Bravo.

Crime scene tape and police signs still surround the house on South Pepper Street in Woodlake after a man was found dead in his own house on Wednesday.

Police say the man, now identified as Paul Ennis, had obvious signs of trauma to his head. "It's being treated as a homicide at this point. We do have some leads and individuals we're looking for," said Woodlake Police Chief John Zapalac.

Thursday, the coroner performed Paul Ennis' autopsy and confirmed that he died from blunt force trauma to the head and upper body.

Ennis, 68, had lived alone in his house for more than a decade. Police believe he hadn't been dead more than 24 hours by the time neighbors found him.

Many people on Pepper Street are morning Ennis' death. Neighbors say he was always outside talking to people, sharing stories and offering advice.

"He was a really trustworthy person he was a really nice person he got along with everybody," said Roberta Martinez.

Sandra Houk said, "He was a friend to everybody and he will be missed very much."

One parent even said Paul Ennis was like a grandfather to many of the children on this block. Many children knew Ennis for his bright and beautiful Christmas and Halloween decorations.

Sondra Houk said her 30-year-old daughter has cerebral palsy -- she said she considered Ennis a close friend and is taking his death hard. "He put them up he would always tell us for our daughter because she cant really get around too much by herself and she'd always be very excited."

Woodlake Police don't believe robbery was a motive in Paul Ennis' murder. His neighbors find it hard to believe that someone would kill such a giving person. "That's really sad for everybody to find out someone -- mean people did that to him. Someone that didn't have a heart to kill him that cold blooded like that. We all freaked out," said Martinez.

The murder is Woodlake's first since October 2010. Anyone with information about the crime is urged to call Woodlake Police.

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tulare, tulare county, woodlake, visalia, ivanhoe, lemon cove, local, jessica peres
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