Homeless woman death in Riverside investigated as homicide

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – The death in Riverside of a homeless woman believed to have frequented eastern San Diego County in recent months was being investigated this week as a homicide, authorities reported.

The badly decomposed body of 32-year-old Jamie Lea Harmer was found around noon Sunday along a stretch of railroad tracks paralleling Panorama Road, according to Riverside police.

“A cause of death has not yet been determined, but it is believed that Harmer was the victim of foul play,” Sgt. David Amador said. “Detectives are trying to determine where the victim was and who she came into contact with.”

Harmer was a transient whose last known residence was in Thief River Falls, Minn., which she left in November, heading to San Diego County.

“She was known to be in the Ramona area … for an unknown period of time,” the sergeant said.

Harmer had been arrested twice this year — on Jan. 4, for allegedly striking a San Diego police officer attempting to detain her for being under the influence of drugs, and on Feb. 13, when a California Highway Patrol officer took her into custody, also for public intoxication.

“It is believed she was in the Ramona area on Feb. 26 and was planning to travel to Arizona to visit family around that time,” Amador said. “Her whereabouts after that date are not known.”

Despite the location where her body was found, there was no evidence that Harmer was struck by a train, according to investigators.

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