Local News

Autopsy Results Expected Soon In Death Of Barton College Professor

Posted December 2, 2004

— Wilson police are trying to find out how a popular Barton College professor died.

A preliminary investigation has not been able to determine how Paula Patterson died. A full autopsy is scheduled for Friday morning, but police say it could be late Friday or early Saturday before they get any more results.

Investigators spent a second day on Wednesday searching her West Nash Street home for evidence. They also interviewed her family and co-workers.

Patterson's husband, Russell, said he last spoke to his wife a week-and-a-half ago and she seemed well.

As a political campaign worker, he rarely spent time at home in recent months.

"She was very dedicated to her work and she put her life into it and her soul into it," said Russell Patterson, who returned home from a business trip after learning about his wife's death.

Police found Patterson's body inside an art studio behind her home after she did not show up for work.

Authorities will not say how she died, but they are calling Patterson's death suspicious.

Police said Russell Patterson is not considered a suspect.

The college's art gallery is displaying a collection of Patterson's work in her memory. Students and faculty at Barton College are planning a memorial service. The school is also e-mailing any official updates on the investigation to students and teachers.

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