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Close friend of 73-year-old woman found dead at home in Fernandina Beach speaks out

Debbie Stapleton has known Colleen Potts for over a decade and lives right down the street from her.

FERNANDINA BEACH, Fla. — A 73-year-old woman, Colleen Marie Potts, was found dead in a home that was not hers on South 13th Street in Fernandina Beach.

Police are treating this incident as a homicide and based on the evidence they gathered at the scene they believe it was an isolated incident.

Sunday night police went to this home on South 13th Street for a well-being check.

After the Fernandina Beach Police Department entered the home through an unlocked door, police found Potts lying face down on the couch in the living room area.

“It doesn’t happen up here we have our little drug cases that go bad but murder. no. It just doesn't happen and poor colleen is babysitting dogs and gets her life taken,"  said Debbie Stapleton, a close friend of Potts. 

Police say that Potts was house-sitting for the homeowner and they believe this was an isolated incident.

“I couldn’t believe it she was in the wrong place at the wrong time," said Stapleton. 

Stapleton has known Potts for over a decade and lives right down the street from her.

“She is the person that no matter what goes wrong in the neighborhood she’ll be there to help you no matter how busy her day is she takes care of everybody’s pets from here to on the other side of the island," said Stapleton. 

Stapleton says the holidays won’t be the same without Potts and she will be truly missed.

"She was such a good friend. Such a good person and I hope our community pulls together and tries to find out who did this to her," said Stapleton. 

This is still an ongoing investigation. Police say there is no immediate threat to the community but they are reminding neighbors to lock their doors, not invite strangers in, and to utilize outside security like lights and cameras.