MA: Friends mourn slain dancer

By Jessica Fargen
Sunday, October 4, 2009 – Updated 7h ago

Police yesterday continued to hunt for the person who murdered an exotic dancer, as friends and Everett neighbors mourned a woman they described as vibrant and gentle.

The bloody body of Sheila Santos, 26, a Brazilian beauty who danced at Club Alex’s in Stoughton, was found before dawn Friday outside her Main Street apartment building. She had apparently just returned from work.

A spokesman for Middlesex District Attorney Gerard Leone yesterday said it’s still too early to say if the killing was random.

However, Leone wants to assure residents they are safe, said spokesman Corey Welford.

“There is an increased police presence in that area,” Welford said.

The murder left friends and neighbors reeling.

Santos was “very friendly, very kind, very naive. A good soul,” said friend Nathan Kehler, 51.

Kehler said Santos had been in the United States for about three years and danced to make money to send home.

“I hope they find the guy and put him in jail for life,” he said.

Store owners in the tight-knit Brazilian immigrant neighborhood said Santos was well-liked.

“She was a very good person,,” said Ismair Rosa, owner of Brazuca, a Brazilian grocery store. “Twenty-six years old, had her whole life ahead.”

Rosa said Santos came in the store often to shop or to wire money home to her family.

Last night outside the apartment building, on the back steps where Santos’ body was found, a single lighted candle flickered.

A weeping woman brought a white teddy bear and mourned the friend she called a “good girl” who “never hurt anybody.”

Colneth Smiley Jr. and Marie Szaniszlo contributed to this report.

See original at Boston Herald

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