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Authorities now say that a woman who was found dead inside a vehicle yesterday on a Taco Bell parking lot in northwest Springfield was stabbed to death.

Police were called to West Chestnut and West Bypass a little after 7 a.m. after a passerby called 9-1-1 to report 47 year-old Kristi Lyn Wicken Kime was slumped over the steering wheel of her vehicle.  Police said that Kimes's death was suspicious.

Witnesses told investigators they saw a man get out of the vehicle and walk away after the car swerved and honked as it pulled into the restaurant parking lot around 5 a.m.
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Kimes was found dead inside this vehicle (courtesy Springfield News-Leader)
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Today Greene County Deputy Medical Examiner Tom VanDeBerg says Kimes died from a stab wound to the neck but would not say if the woman suffered any other injuries.

Officer David Snider says detectives have "identified a suspect" and believe that whomever killed Kimes "had a past relationship" with her.

The investigation is ongoing and police are asking anyone with information regarding Kimes' murder to contact the Springfield Police Department at 417-864-1810 or 9-1-1.
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UPDATE 08-10-11:

Snider says authorites have a suspect "under constant oberservation at a local hospital."

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