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Friend remembers man found dead over the weekend in Benton County as death investigation continues

Published: Jan. 4, 2021 at 6:22 PM CST
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - The Benton County Sheriff’s Office, The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Iowa State Patrol are continuing to investigate after 84-year-old James Bright was found dead at his rural Vinton home over the weekend.

”I don’t think there was anybody that ever didn’t like Jim,” Jean Leaf, an old friend of Bright’s, said.

Leaf said she met him in the 80′s when she co-owned a construction company. Bright hired her company to do work at his store called Bright’s Piano on Ellis Boulevard in Cedar Rapids. Bright also had a location in Vinton.

“He used to talk to us and tell us about his going to braille school in Vinton when he was little, how he learned to do braille and therefore he eventually was into the piano,” Leaf said.

It’s still unclear what exactly happened to Bright but Leaf said he was a good man.

”I really hope that they get to the bottom of this and get the answers that they really need because whatever happened to him needs to be resolved and needs to be figured out,” Leaf said.

Officials said they don’t believe there is a threat to the general public.

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