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Man Questioned in Death of TV Anchor’s Kin

September 11, 2006

BARDWELL, Texas (AP) _ Police are questioning a 49-year-old man in connection with the death of the elderly aunt of ``Dateline NBC″ anchor Stone Phillips.

Authorities said the man, whose name they would not release, led investigators Friday night to an abandoned farmhouse outside Bardwell where they found the body of Doris Phillips, 81.

Phillips disappeared from her Reagor Springs home on July 26. The Ellis County Sheriff’s Department would not say how she died.

``This is still an ongoing investigation. We prefer not to discuss some things right now,″ said Lt. Clint Tims.

The man, who has been charged with burglary, is described as a longtime friend of the woman.

The suspect was linked to an undisclosed item missing from the woman’s home, leading authorities to charge him with burglary, police said. Officials hope to file additional charges after further investigation.

Weeks before her disappearance, Doris Phillips had felt uneasy, said her son, John Phillips, 50.

``There were things she said to her neighbors,″ he said. ``She felt like she was being watched. She was picking up on some things.″

Doris Phillips, who lived alone, acted in several low-budget films and performed every year in Waxahachie’s Scarborough Renaissance Festival.

Bardwell is about 40 miles southeast of Dallas.

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