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'Mo'Nique Show' mourns loss of staffer

By Lisa Respers France, CNN
Mo'Nique said in a statement that she is "saddened by Maureen's passing."
Mo'Nique said in a statement that she is "saddened by Maureen's passing."
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Police say husband of set decorator for "The Mo'Nique Show" charged with murder
  • Her body was recovered from truck her husband reportedly drove out of state and back
  • Actress and talk show host says "Live each day to the fullest"
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Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) -- Actress and talk show host Mo'Nique and her staff Thursday mourned the death of her show's set decorator, who was allegedly killed by her husband.

Police said the body of Maureen Allaben of suburban Tucker was recovered from her husband's truck after he drove from the Atlanta area to Virginia -- to drop off their two children with relatives, according to one account -- and then returned.

A DeKalb County Police spokeswoman said officials were initially pursuing a missing persons case after they were alerted by Allaben's out-of-state loved ones, who were worried about her.

She said DeKalb County Police were notified Tuesday by police in neighboring Clayton County that Allaben's husband, Dennis Allaben, had turned himself in.

Acting DeKalb County Police Chief William O'Brien told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that "he just showed up at [Clayton County] police headquarters and said he'd killed his wife."

Police have not disclosed how Maureen Allaben was killed.

On Thursday, Mo'Nique released the following statement to CNN: "We are all saddened by Maureen's passing but we also rejoice in having had the opportunity to know her sweet, soulful spirit. Live each day to the fullest."

Allaben, who was also a food stylist, listed a variety of clients on her Web site, including Atlantic Records, Rolling Stone Magazine and Turner Broadcasting, parent company of CNN.

On a Twitter account listed as belonging to Allaben, her biography said she was a "wife, and mother of two amazing kids," and several tweets referenced her work on BET's "The Mo'Nique Show," which is produced at Turner Studios, a division of Turner Entertainment.

"Between set decorating for The Mo'Nique Show and food styling the rest of the time I have so neglected my Twitter account," said a tweet from October 14. A tweet dated Dec. 8 said, "Working at BET today. Lots of good times ahead."

The last posting, dated Jan. 3, read "Resolution #7...To Twitter more in the new year."

As of Thursday, police had not released any information on a possible motive. Authorities said Dennis Allaben was arraigned Wednesday night on a charge of felony murder and ordered held without bond at the DeKalb County Jail.

 
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