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Woman shopping for Thanksgiving dinner when alleged murder suspect steals her car

An alleged murder suspect picked the wrong car to steal Sunday morning.

James Ray Carroll, 39, allegedly stabbed Lawrence Kinzel, 46, of Chicago, to death Sunday morning in Middletown, according to police. When Carroll was evading Middletown police officers he allegedly stole a car in the parking lot of Save-A-Lot on Roosevelt Boulevard.

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That 1998 Cavalier belongs to Dorothy Cowgill, she told the Journal-News this morning.

Cowgill said she and her sister and daughter purchased $350 worth of Thanksgiving groceries Sunday at Kroger, then drove to Save-A-Lot to complete their shopping.

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Cowgill said the car was “dead on empty,” and she planned to fill it up after she left Save-A-Lot.

“I didn’t know if I had enough gas to get to Save-A-Lot,” she said with a laugh. “He beat us to it and ran out (of gas).”

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When Cowgill walked out of Save-A-Lot, she realized the car was gone. She called Middletown police, but was told she needed proof of ownership. She told police those papers were in the car.

She received a call from police at 1:42 a.m. today, informing her the stolen car was found, but it was involved in an active murder investigation, so she couldn’t get her groceries out of the trunk. She was at the police station this morning, waiting to be interviewed by detectives, she said.

Cowgill said, “ice cream and everything is melting in that car.”

Bond was set at $1 million for Carroll this morning in Middletown Municipal Court. He’s charged with murder, tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice, receiving stolen property and failure to report a crime of death. He was arraigned by Judge James Sherron this morning.

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