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As friends and family mourn, questions linger about PCSO administrator Bea Dickey's death

5:27 PM, Sep 21, 2011   |    comments
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Lakeland, Florida -- Friends and family are paying their respects to Bea Dickey during a viewing this evening in Lakeland.

The Plant City woman, who was a high-ranking administrator with the Polk County sheriff's office, was allegedly murdered by her husband over the weekend.

On Facebook: Polk County Sheriff's statement on Bea Dickey's death

At the Morrison funeral home in Lakeland, dozens of Polk County sheriff's cars have lined the front of the building, where along with sadness there are still so many questions.

That's in part because Dickey -- admired by her co-workers and active in the community -- never gave co-workers any indication there was trouble in her home. Other than the fact that investigators have said it was Dickey's own husband who killed her this past weekend, officials have been willing to share little more.

44-year-old Lawrence Dickey reportedly told Plant City police, "Lock me up, I just beat my wife with a bat."

What led Dickey to snap?

"I'd love to know. I'd love to know," said Debbie Lloyd, who doesn't live far from the couple's home. "See if we can stop it in the future."

Local residents, still at a loss for an explanation now know that Bea Dickey, who'd worked her way up to a top administrator position at the sheriff's office during her 15 years there, had returned from a concert with friends in Tampa Saturday night.

"We just want to know what goes through somebody's mind to take their spouse's life. The parent of children. What do you think? You ruined a lot of lives," said another local resident.

Investigators say Lawrence Dickey would not tell them what led up to the killing.

Bea, a community activist who was was very well-liked by co-workers, was a mother to two children from a previous marriage. She also became a step-mother to Dickey's two children after the couple married in 2007. 

The couple, say friends, showed no outward signs of stress or trouble, leading to "rumors" even within the sheriff's office about what may have happened.

Some in Plant City wonder why officials haven't said more.

"I mean if it was just a regular person... and people really wanted to find out, I'm sure they could get the information," said local resident Candi Morris.

But Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says there's no secret being kept, and he is no more privy to details of the criminal investigation than anyone else.

"I wanna know why that brutal act occurred," said the sheriff.

Judd says Bea Dickey never indicated any domestic abuse was going on inside her home. Nor, he says, would she have been the type of woman to tolerate it.

More about the case will likely come out eventually, but for now, Judd says Plant City police and the Hillsborough county detectives assisting them, have asked not to discuss details the case until it's completed.

"Will I ever have the answers I really want? Probably not," said Sheriff Judd, "Because the only one who would give us an unbiased statement about what really occurred and why it occurred is no longer with us."

Thursday's funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. at the church of the resurrection 3720 Old highway 37 on Lakeland.

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