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DALLAS A welfare check led to a disturbing discovery in Southeast Dallas this weekend: A 73-year-old man who was murdered in his own home.

Friends and family said they hadn't seen Ernest Lewis since mid-week, so they called police to his two-bedroom residence in the 7500 block of Great Trinity Forest Boulevard on Saturday wondering what was going on.

He was found dead, and now a homicide investigation is under way.

Friends said Lewis was jokster with a big heart, and some of his family members that have been coming to pay their respects are devastated by the unexpected loss.

"It was scary and a shock." said Sheila Shaw, the victim's niece. "We never thought anything would happen like that, at least not this close."

It was not clear when Lewis was killed; it could have been as far back as early Wednesday.

Dallas police continue to investigate but so far haven't released a motive or other related information.

E-mail tunger@wfaa.com

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