Local News

Manager found dead inside Roanoke Rapids Applebee's

Posted June 15, 2009
Updated June 19, 2009

— The manager of a Roanoke Rapids Applebee's was found dead Monday morning inside the restaurant, police said.

Police Chief Jeff Hinton identified the victim as Sandy Denise Riedel, 29, of 438 Jackson St. Hinton said Riedel was in early to open the restaurant.

Another employee found Riedel and called police around 7:40 a.m., Hinton said.

Applebee's Roanoke Rapids police probe Applebee's homicide

"We are still investigating, even now," Hinton said. "We're working now to investigate exactly what the motive was."

Hinton said there did not appear to be any forced entry into the restaurant.

Coworkers said Riedel was a popular, hardworking employee, and that she was last seen alive around 6:30 a.m. by her boyfriend, also a restaurant manager, when he brought her a cup of coffee.

The State Bureau of Investigation is assisting police on the case, and investigators were talking with people at surrounding businesses Monday.

Hinton said the case marks the fourth homicide in Roanoke Rapids this year.

Elizabeth McGee, chief people officer, of Apple Gold Group in Raleigh, which owns the restaurant, arrived Monday afternoon to help employees deal with their grief. Grief counselors were also expected later Monday.

About 45 employees work at the restaurant, 10 on each shift, McGee said.

"It just happened early this morning, and what we're focused on is taking care of our employees, as a whole, and certainly, our heartfelt sympathy goes to the family," McGee said.

"They absolutely loved this general manager, and she was very close with her staff, and they certainly need time to process this horrible tragedy," she added.


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  • divaprincess0 Jun 16, 2009

    I have been around ppl that have worked with and admire this young lady, personally and professionally and am deeply saddened that such a young life was taken over a senseless ignorant act.

    I am also confused as to why, even though we live in a world of free speech that someone would make such a mockery with their comments on such a travesty...

    Then we question why there is so much ignorance today...shame on you moderators for allowing this young ladies tragic death, fill your page with assinine comments from IGNORANT PEOPLE...

    I will pray that this sad ending comes to a quick resolution for the family and will have you in my constant thoughts...


  • m123 Jun 16, 2009

    The writer needs a basic grammar lesson!

  • GaspLetsMate Jun 16, 2009

    Sandy was one of the best people I've ever known. I worked with her before she trained to be the GM at Applebees & had the priviledge of calling her a friend. She was ALWAYS positive, always considerate- I never heard a complaint or judgemental word from her. I'm not even going to respond to the disturbing comments here, Sandy was above any of that & wouldn't have anything to say about something so immature. She had the best personality and the kindest heart of anyone I've ever worked with. Anyone who knew her can tell you that. Her niece was the light of her life, and she always used the catch phrase "It's your world, I'm just living in it" if you ever had a question or needed a favor.

    I find it really hard to believe it could be someone who already knew her, she was honestly the least confrontational person & always had a good thing to say about anyone. My prayers go out to her family.

  • Homeward Jun 16, 2009

    I'd say holmesap was close to the mark about those who have made jokes about this death, except wild dogs are capable of compassion and are only viscious to survive. More likely they're the result of parents who were also unfunny jerks.

  • ShareTheRoad Jun 16, 2009

    yesterday, they didnt even state how she was killed, much less that it was a homicide. all they said yesterday was that they were looking for a motive, which left a lot of us wondering how she died (ie: shot/stabbed, or slipped on wet floor and cracked her head). The details weren't there yesterday. They are today.

    I'm surprised nobody is implicating the boyfriend. Isn't that standard procedure around here?

  • Thought Criminal WS Jun 16, 2009

    Thanks DougWare.NET - someone else pointed out to me that I'm not crazy, that it wasn't in the first line of the story yesterday, and the word homicide isn't in the first line today for those correcting me....

    This has to be domestic related; anyone who has worked in the food service industry knows there's no money at that time. She probably knew the killer.

  • kikinc Jun 16, 2009

    I worked at a restaurant years ago, and policy was that no one was to open or close the place by themselves, ESPECIALLY if the employee was a female. Unfortunately, though, a female manager we had did not follow the rules like she should have. Luckily, nothing ever happened to her. Just b/c a company may have certain guidelines in place doesn't mean people follow them. It's easy to feel safe in a place you're at all the time. Unfortunately, though, this sounds like an inside job, if there's no evidence of forced entry. Restaurants normally keep their doors locked until opening time. I hope they catch whoever did this.

  • ncguy Jun 16, 2009

    It will end up some thug with a criminal history did it and for what? a little pebble that you smoke...

  • appalonia17 Jun 15, 2009

    How can all the other people talk like that. What if it had have been their family members and other people said that about them then they would get all mad at what the other people were saying about their family. The other things I'm going to say is that I worked there for 2 1/2 years and I do feel bad about what happened but this is the first time anything ever happened at Applebees like that and I don't think anyone would possibly die over the food in that place. So stop leaving dirty comments like that.

  • robbincasino Jun 15, 2009

    I use to be a manager of a restaurant. Standard Corporate proceedure was that I was not allowed to open the restaurant until a male employee was there. That also applied to when I had to close at night. At night 2 male employees were required to remain until I was done. I have to wonder why a big Corporation such as Applebee's doesn't have the same safety proceedures. I realize that just because there would be another employee there that the same thing couldn't or wouldn't happen. But it must have work as some type of deterant because in all the time I worked there we had no problems and this was while I still lived in California.