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A Kenmore Mercy Hospital nurse was slain in her Wheatfield home in November, Niagara County officials said today, even though authorities originally believed her death was a suicide.

Linda Tomaino, 36, of 6142 Town Line Road was found dead in her bed Nov. 18, Chief Investigator John W. Cole said. Her husband, John, 42, discovered the body.

The supervisor of the emergency room at Kenmore Mercy Hospital and the mother of two, Mrs. Tomaino had suffered a handgun wound to the head.

Cole said he and Investigator Calvin Rhoney became suspicious about 48 hours into the investigation.

Coroner Alfred Flessel said today he made the homicide ruling after extensive study of forensic laboratory tests.

A number of people, including Mrs. Tomaino's husband, have been questioned about the death, according to Flessel and Asst. Dist. Atty. Ronald J. Winter.

Cole declined to comment on the caliber and owner of the gun now held as evidence and other aspects of the investigation.

A native of Elmira, Mrs. Tomaino moved to Lockport in 1974 and to Wheatfield in 1978.

She had worked as a registered nurse at Lockport Memorial Hospital and Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center. Since 1987, she was a certified emergency nurse at Kenmore Mercy Hospital.

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