Local News

Rougemont Woman Stabbed With Scissors, Autopsy Confirms

Posted December 28, 2005

— An autopsy report released Wednesday reveals more about how a Durham County woman from the rural town of Rougemont died. Meanwhile, police still have no suspects in the town's first homicide in more than four decades.

Authorities say Rosa Lee Crabtree was found dead in her home in the early-morning hours of Nov. 7. A pair of scissors was found nearby.

According to the autopsy released by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill, Crabtree, 68, was stabbed five times in the chest, resulting in injuries to her left lung and heart.

The report also says a pair of bloody scissors was found near Crabtree's body, confirming earlier reports from neighbors that she had been stabbed with scissors.

Investigators with the Durham County Sheriff's Office believe the perpetrators' motive was robbery and that Crabtree was at her home when someone broke in and stole two televisions, a video recorder and some jewelry.

Authorities say DNA evidence recovered from the scene is still being processed, but so far it has only been able to rule out suspects in the case.

Crabtree's son, Tony Crabtree, found his mother's body inside her home on the living room floor. In late November, he told WRAL that his mother had been uncomfortable living alone in her home and that he stopped by her house every morning.

On the morning of Nov. 7, however, he said he knew something was "not right."

"When I pulled in every morning, she was always looking out the window, or at least the lights were on," Crabtree told WRAL. "That morning, the lights were not on."

Friends and neighbors described Rosa Lee Crabtree as a deeply spiritual woman who was very involved in her church and always in a good mood.

"She was one of the sweetest ladies you'd ever meet," said her pastor, Chris Hilliard. "When she came through the church doors, my children would run up to her because she always had candy to give them."

The Office of the Governor has approved a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case. Authorities ask anyone with information about the case to contact the

Durham County Sheriff's Office

at (919) 560-0897.

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