Local News

Death Of Barton College Art Instructor Investigated

Posted December 1, 2004

— The death of a Wilson college art instructor is under investigation.

Forensic units are back at the home of Paula Patterson looking for clues in what police are calling a suspicious death.

On Tuesday, police responded to Patterson's home at 901 West Nash St. to check on the 49-year-old who had not been seen or heard from for several days.

When police went into the home, they found Patterson's body. Police said there was no evidence of a break-in or a struggle.

"We're not calling it murder, we're not calling it suicide right now. We're just treating it as a suspicious death," said Sgt. K.B. Pendergrass of the Wilson Police Department.

Patterson was an art instructor at Barton College whose works have been shown in exhibits across the country and in Europe.

"It is a tragic loss. This woman clearly was destined toward her fame spreading," Barton Museum director Chris Wilson said.

"Her artwork is like herself in the sense that it's very deep, very introspective -- very deep in feeling and emotion," said Susan Fecho, Barton College art department chairwoman.

Patterson's husband, a campaign advisor, was on the road when the body was discovered.

She would have turned 50 years old on Wednesday.

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