LCSO deems Lehigh Acres house fire as a death investigation

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Death investigation scene. (WINK News photo)
Death investigation scene. (WINK News photo)

It started as a house fire, but now it is a major crime scene. Deputies plan to stay there until they figure out how a woman died in her home.

“I freaked out a little bit,” Marie Joseph said. “I was trying to get my kids in the house. I wanted to get them in there first.”

Joseph was picking up her two kids from their bus stop when she saw a crime scene at the 2000 block on Robin Avenue in Lehigh Acres Wednesday afternoon.

Millie Lester. (WINK News photo)
Millie Lester. (WINK News photo)

“Drivers were flipping out,” Joseph said. “All the kids were like, ‘what in the world is going on?'”

At first, it was a call for a house fire. But after some investigation, their major crimes unit was called out to the Lehigh Acres home.

Next door, neighbors said Millie Lester was home when a fire started and did not make it out. That, despite her family trying to save her.

The Lee County Sheriff’s office later confirmed Mildred Noemi Rivera-Lester as the victim.

“The husband was trying to get in the house and trying to save his wife,” Joseph said. “The cops jumped on him.”

Lester’s family, including her two sons, were on the scene. The family hugging and consoling each other as investigators worked.

Joseph has some advice for the family.

“Hang in there man,” Joseph said. “That’s all I can say… hang in there.”

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