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Exclusive: Wife of Palm Springs murder victim Jenny Dillon speaks out

Update - Sept. 8, 2021:

An arrest has been made in the murder of Jennifer Dillon.

Full Story: Man arrested in connection with two separate Palm Springs murders

News Channel 3's Jake Ingrassia spoke with Dillon's wife about the arrest.


Original Report - 04/14/21

Athena Kelly is breaking her silence nearly three months after her wife, Jenny Dillon, was murdered in her home in the Racquet Club Estates neighborhood in Palm Springs.

"This is why its taken me so long to want to do any sort of interview or talk," Kelly told News Channel 3's Jake Ingrassia. "It just hurts."

Kelly was out of town when Dillon was killed, and couldn't reach her.

"I couldn't get ahold of Jenny which was very unusual," she said. "I knew something was wrong. I knew it in my heart."

Neighbors made the gruesome discovery: Dillon's body inside an office in the home, covered in blood. Witnesses reported a pungent smell of bleach.

Kelly said police were mistakenly unsuspecting at first.

"I'm listening to the coroner tell me that, 'Jenny, was she ill? Did she have heart problems? It looks like she passed out. Maybe she had a heart attack. Something happened; she fell and it killed her,'" she said. "Theres no way in the world anyone a normal person wouldn't see that the house was ransacked. My home was torn apart."

She said it took nearly two days for police to investigate the scene as a crime.

"And then it was a matter of convincing them, it felt like to me," Kelly said. "Jenny didn't just die. She didn't just have a heart attack and die. Someone was in the house; someone hurt her."

She's worried that police's early actions cost hours or even days that could have been critical to the investigation. "I've heard that they're waiting for forensics or fingerprint or DNA. I'm not sure how that works, but we've lost a lot of time."

Kelly now desperately hopes a suspect is found. "If we ever do find out who did this, and God I hope we do, it would be closure. I think that it would help a lot of us feel closure," she said.

Dillon's brother has offered a $25,000 reward in this case for information leading to a conviction, and people in the neighborhood are now working to add to it. Contact the Palm Springs Police Dept. with information.

Jake Ingrassia

Joining News Channel 3 and CBS Local 2 as a reporter, Jake is excited to be launching his broadcasting career here in the desert. Learn more about Jake here.

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