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Police and fire

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Death scene was apparent meth lab

Second woman’s condition now critical

– Chemicals used to make methamphetamine were found in a vacant storefront where a woman was found dead Wednesday, police said Friday.

The investigation also involves two other people who showed up at a hospital, police said.

Dana M. Gersper, 33, of Fort Wayne and a second woman were found Wednesday afternoon in the storefront at 4331 S. Anthony Blvd. in the Anthony Wayne Village Centre, a strip mall just south of McKinnie Avenue.

Gersper was pronounced dead at the scene. The Allen County coroner has yet to determine how she died.

The other woman was taken to a hospital in serious condition Wednesday. On Friday, her condition had deteriorated, police said, and she was in critical condition. The woman’s name has not been made public.

There were no obvious signs of trauma to the women, and no foul play is suspected, police have said.

Investigators found products associated with the manufacture of methamphetamine in the storefront and in a vehicle that is part of the investigation. They believe an active meth lab was in the storefront, police said.

The investigation also involves a man and woman who arrived at a hospital emergency room Wednesday. They are not being hospitalized, said Raquel Foster, Fort Wayne police spokeswoman.

Several police vehicles were stationed at the South Anthony Boulevard location Friday night as investigators continued to sift through evidence. Posted on the storefront was a condemnation notice.

Officers initially came to the scene about 1:10 p.m. Wednesday after an anonymous caller said there was a “dead body and possibly another in the lot across from Belmont Beverage” and hung up.

Officers searched the area and in the process searched the storefront where the women were later discovered but found no one at the time, police said.

About an hour later, the owner of a business in the strip mall reported a suspicious odor coming from the storefront and that people inside needed help. Emergency crews were dispatched, and they found the two women, police said.

Firefighters checked for dangerous fumes and did not register any, according to police.