Local News

Search Continues For Answers In Rougemont Homicide

Posted March 19, 2006

— Rougemont, in Durham County, is rural by every definition.

But, on Nov. 7, 2005, the small, quiet town was jarred by the kind of violence reserved for faster-paced communities the residents want to avoid.

"Someone picked this house to go in to do a break-in, and once they got into the house, something happened," said Durham County Sheriff's Lt. Don Paschall. "It turned into a homicide."

Authorities said Rosa Crabtree, 68, was stabbed to death with a pair of scissors at her home on Chambers Road. Two televisions, a DVD player and some jewelry were stolen.

"She'd have given it to them," said Rosa Crabtree's son, Tony Crabtree. "If somebody's in need, she would have gave it to them. Just take it and leave. She would not have put up a fight whatsoever."

Tony Crabtree found his mother's body during a routine stop on the way to work.

"It's been tough on the whole family," he said. "Granted, I'm glad nobody got to go in the house and see what I (saw)."

Investigators said evidence from the scene, along with DNA samples, tells them more than one person was involved. But it's likely only one person committed the murder.

"Those that are lesser involved, certainly it could be a mitigating factor for them should they come forward and save themselves," said Paschall. "Based on people's records, their previous offenses, larceny's not the worst thing in the world to be charged with. Homicide, your first one, is ugly."

While the search for a killer continues, Rougemont has gone back to being a quiet, sleepy town. Only now, the days and nights are a little more restless.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Durham County Sheriff's Office.

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