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Brother-in-law of dead Spencer woman charged with misleading police

SPENCER — The death of a 20-year-old woman in a ­Pleasant Street apartment Wednesday is being labeled suspicious, and her brother-in-law is being held on $100,000 bail on a charge he lied to ­police investigating the death.

Steven D. West, 21, of 14 Pleasant St. was arraigned Thursday morning on the charge of intimidation of a witness, a broad statute that includes providing false information to police.

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The body of Alyssa A. ­Haden, also of 14 Pleasant St., was discovered in the apartment.

West is married to Haden’s twin sister. The three shared an apartment.

A preliminary police report indicated Haden had “obvious signs of death” and a small wound on her neck.

West was ordered held on $100,000 bail. Assistant Worcester District Attorney Brett Dillon told Judge Paul Losapio it was too early in the investigation to determine whether West would face additional charges.

He said West has ties to ­Indiana and has not been in Massachusetts long. He said West did not appear to have an out-of-state criminal record.

According to court documents, Spencer police were called to the apartment about noon Wednesday. Town ­records show Haden’s sister’s name is Caitlin West.

Police said Haden’s brother, Donald Haden III, had discovered his sister’s body.

Police wrote that she had “lividity inconsistent with the position of the body.” Such a discovery could mean the body had been moved.

In July, Haden was displaced from her family home on Grove Street after a fire that was later ruled arson.

The fire started in Haden’s bedroom and killed some family pets. No arrests have been made in that case.

In Western Worcester District Court in East Brookfield Thursday morning, West’s court-appointed lawyer ­Michael Hussey said he was unsure if the high bail was ­requested because investigators anticipate filing additional charges.

He said it was unclear to him what West had done to mislead police and whether the death was a homicide.

West is due back in court on Nov. 12.

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