Local News

Autopsy: Fayetteville woman repeatedly struck with hammer

Posted September 13, 2010 7:20 a.m. EDT

— A Fayetteville woman whom authorities say was killed by her son and left in her burning home was repeatedly struck with a hammer, according to an autopsy report released Monday.

The report says Barbara Ann Towery, 42, suffered from at least 14 separate blunt force injuries to the head, which led to contusions and lacerations on her scalp and brain.

Firefighters found Towery in her burning home at 456 Star Lane on July 24.

Towery's son, Johnathon Gray, 18, faces first-degree murder and first-degree arson charges in her death.

Authorities have not released a motive for the crime.

Family friends and neighbors said Gray had moved in with his mother prior to her death and that they seemed to get along fine. He has a history of mental illness, they said.

Gray is being held without bond in the Cumberland County Detention Center.