Local News

Autopsy shines light on Raleigh woman's sudden death

Posted September 25, 2009 12:40 p.m. EDT
Updated September 25, 2009 3:38 p.m. EDT

— Autopsy findings released Friday add detail to the investigation of a Raleigh woman’s mysterious death.

Patsy Eason Barefoot, 60, was found dead in her bed June 27. Her car was missing.

Police arrested Flavio Joaquin Velasquez Cardenas, 33, on Aug. 24 in Coral Gables, Fla., and charged him with her murder. Barefoot's silver 2002 Ford Focus was also found in South Florida.

Authorities have not offered a motive for the killing. Medical examiner Dr. Deborah L. Radisch concluded that Barefoot died of asphyxiation. The autopsy showed she had bruising on her cheeks and nose and several broken ribs.

Police are also investigating whether Barefoot was a victim of sexual assault at the time of her death. Radish found had a short, dark hair on Barefoot’s left hand, and a longer, dark hair on the sheet near her knee.