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Teacher charged with murder in Falls Lake death

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Wake County deputies at the home of Jose Manuel Perez and Joanna Madonna. Madonna is accused of killing Perez. (Steve Sbraccia, WNCN) Wake County deputies at the home of Jose Manuel Perez and Joanna Madonna. Madonna is accused of killing Perez. (Steve Sbraccia, WNCN)
RALEIGH, N.C. -

A teacher has been charged with murder in the death of a Raleigh man whose body was found dumped at Falls Lake Sunday.

Joanna Madonna is charged with first degree murder in the death of 64-year-old Jose Manuel Perez. Madonna is being held in the Wake County Jail.

The Wake County Sheriff's Office said Perez' body was discovered by a man walking near his home on Old Bayleaf Road near N.C. 98.

Deputies speculated Perez' body was dumped there Saturday night or early Sunday morning after he was stabbed to death.

Perez and Madonna shared a home together on Schoolhouse Street, and a neighbor said he never saw any indication of animosity between the two.

Mark Moore said Perez moved in with Madonna about a year ago. He said Madonna has three daughters -- two college-aged and an 8-year-old with autism. Friends say Madonna was also caring for her elderly father.

"I talked to him three or four times over the last eight weeks," Moore said of Perez. "Every time, congenial and nice -- super nice guy."

Moore also said Madonna was a substitute teacher and tutored kids according to Moore. She also worked part-time translating for a downtown Raleigh lawyer.

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