Police: Novacek's wife died of self-inflicted gunshot wound

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by REBECCA LOPEZ / WFAA-TV

Bio | Email | Follow: @rlopezwfaa

wfaa.com

Posted on February 1, 2010 at 4:06 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 2 at 1:42 PM

LeAnne Novacek found dead

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BURLESON — The wife of Jay Novacek, a former Dallas Cowboys tight end, was found dead Monday morning at her mother's home in Burleson.

Police said LeAnne Novacek died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Authorities found Novacek dead in the bedroom of the home after receiving a call from a family member at 8:37 a.m.

Jay Novacek was not at the residence when police arrived. Police said no suicide note was found.

"There appears to be no foul play, and we'll await for the ruling from the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's office," said Commander Doug Sandifer of the Burleson Police Department. "We handle all the cases the same, but of course our thoughts are with the Novacek family at this time."

Police said they had no reports of previous emergency calls to the home of LeAnne Novacek's mother.

The Novaceks have a ranch nearby in Joshua and are active in the community.

On Monday evening, Rhonda West, a neighbor of LeAnne Novacek's mother, brought flowers and placed them at a cross in front of the home. "It's sad; it's just hard to believe," she said.

Area residents said they used to see the Novaceks at the grocery store, at charity events -- even a high school pep rally.

"They're well-known around here," said neighbor Chuck Gallant. "It's weird that it happened this way."

A five time Pro Bowler, Jay Novacek played for the Cowboys from 1990 to 1995. During his time with the Cowboys, the team won three Super Bowl games. In his 11 seasons, Novacek recorded 422 receptions for 4,630 yards and 30 touchdowns.

From 1985 to 1989, he played for the St. Louis Cardinals, which became the Phoenix Cardinals in 1989.

In 2008, Novacek was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. He was the second Dallas Cowboy to receive the honor. Novacek, who played for Wyoming from 1982-84, was an All-American in 1984. He still holds NCAA receiving records for the tight end position.

The Dallas Cowboys said they do not plan to release a statement on LeAnne Novacek's death.

E-mail rlopez@wfaa.com

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