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Texas TV Reporter Found Dead

January 23, 1998

TEMPLE, Texas (AP) _ A television reporter who told friends she had been repeatedly called by a neighbor was beaten to death, and police said they found the man in her apartment with blood on his clothes.

Kathryn Dettman, 36, had apparently just stepped out of the shower when she was attacked Thursday. Investigators found no sign anyone had broken into her second-floor apartment, police spokesman Tony Hennes said.

Neighbors called police after hearing a scuffle in the woman’s apartment, said Rick Bradfield, news director at KWTX, where Ms. Dettman worked. A manager let police into the unit.

``When they opened the door they found a man in the apartment,″ Bradfield said. ``The reporter was dead on the floor of the bedroom. She’d been beaten to death.″

The man was held for more questioning but not charged Thursday, Hennes said. An autopsy was pending.

``According to some friends of Kathryn, the young man ... had been calling her a lot. But she seemed unconcerned about it,″ Hennes said. Neighbors said the man lived in the same apartment complex.

Today was to have been Ms. Dettman’s last day at KWTX, where she was assigned to the station’s Bell County bureau. The station broadcasts in the Waco, Temple and Killeen areas.

She was to start work Monday as a general assignment reporter for KTVT-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth, said KTVT assistant news director Denise Clodjeaux.

Both are CBS affiliates.

Ms. Dettman joined The Associated Press as a newswoman in Los Angeles in June 1990 and transferred to the AP’s Broadcast News Center in Washington in June 1991. She left in April 1993 and joined KWTX that July.

Ms. Dettman was a graduate of California State University, Northridge and had been an AP Television Radio Association scholarship winner. APTRA is the AP broadcast association for California and Nevada.

``She was a person determined to succeed, with the pluckiness to bounce back from any adversity,″ said Los Angeles AP Bureau Chief Andy Lippman. ``She was very goal-oriented and approached it with a cheery determination to succeed, and was undaunted by any obstacles, either personal or professional.″

Funeral arrangements were pending.

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