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Borrego Sun editor, husband found dead in apparent murder-suicide

October 11, 2011 |  3:05 pm

Borrego Sun editor Judy Meier (right) talks to reporter Connie George and layout artist Ellen Fitzpatrick in 2008.

The editor of the Borrego Sun and her estranged husband were found dead in their home in Borrego Springs late Monday in an apparent murder-suicide, officials said Tuesday.

Judy Winter Meier, 61, and her husband, James Meier, 59, were found dead after the San Diego County Sheriff's Department received a call from a newspaper employee asking to check on the couple.

Judy Meier was found dead in the kitchen, her husband on a couch in the living room. The couple had recently filed for divorce.

Authorities believe Jim Meier, a former ranger at Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, killed his wife and then commited suicide. A gun was found near his body.

Judy Meier had been editor of the paper for more than two decades, when it was owned by the Copley Press and then when it was bought by Borrego Springs resident Patrick Meehan, who serves as the newspaper's publisher.

Published twice a month, the newspaper has a circulation of approximately 4,000.

Meier prided herself on being an "old-school journalist." She still used a manual typewriter.

"Get your facts, get 'em quick and get 'em accurate," she once said when asked to describe her journalistic credo.

Borrego Springs, which is 100 miles northeast of San Diego in the Borrego Valley, is surrounded by the Anza Borrego Desert State Park. The area has a year-round population of approximately 4,000, but the population swells in the winter when "snowbirds" arrive to enjoy the warm weather.

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--Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: Borrego Sun editor Judy Meier, right, talks to reporter Connie George and layout artist Ellen Fitzpatrick in 2008. Credit: Scott Linnett / San Diego Union-Tribune

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