Preliminary Autopsy: Woman In Trailer Fire Died Of Multiple Stab Wounds
Posted July 10, 2002
CUMBERLAND COUNTY, N.C. — A preliminary autopsy report finds that a woman found dead in a burning house Tuesday morning had been stabbed repeatedly.
Army Sgt. Cedric Ramon Griffin, 28, is charged with the first-degree murder of his wife, Marilyn, whose burned body was found in her bedroom by firefighters.
According to the medical examiner's office, Marilyn Griffin died as a result of approximately 50 stab wounds to the chest, neck, back and abdomen. Preliminary findings also indicate that Griffin died prior to the fire.
Just before 2 a.m., a neighbor saw Marilyn Griffin's mobile home on fire and called 911.
Firefighters extinguished the blaze and found the body of Marilyn Griffin, 32, in the master bedroom, where they believe the fire started.
"At this point, we're working it as a homicide. There is some evidence at the crime scene that makes us suspicious about the cause of her death," said Lt. Sam Pennica of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office early in the investigation.
Cedric Griffin is also charged with first-degree arson and the attempted murder of Marilyn's two daughters.
The girls, ages 6 and 2, woke up during the fire and were able to go to a neighbor's house for help.
"There were two little girls here and they said 'Mama said for us to come here. The house is on fire,'" neighbor Julia Holland said.
Pennica said the motive appears to be "domestic related." Married for eight years, the couple broke up two months ago.
Marilyn Griffin and her two children, who went by their mother's maiden name, had lived in the mobile home for less than a week, investigators and a neighbor said.
Neighbors also said Marilyn Griffin had a male friend over on Monday.
The Department of Social Services is looking after the children until family members can come from Georgia to take them.
Pennica said Cedric Griffin cooperated with law enforcement during its investigation Tuesday.
Cedric Griffin is on active duty in the United States Army and assigned to the 37th Engineer Battalion at Fort Bragg.
He is being held without bond in the Cumberland County Jail.