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Durham Activist Laid To Rest As Police Continue To Investigate Her Death

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DURHAM, N.C. — A business executive and activist for the arts was remembered Thursday in Durham. Kathleen Peterson was laid to rest as police try to figure out exactly how she died.

Peterson's husband, Michael, friends and family members gathered at Duke Chapel to say goodbye. Hundreds of people filled the chapel in honor of a woman described as warm and festive.

"This tragedy has really taken us -- because we hate to see loving people have something tragic happen to them," said family friend Jane Nichols Redoble.

Lawyers for Michael Peterson describe the incident as an accident, but police are calling it suspicious. Kathleen Peterson died early Sunday morning from a blow to the head. Michael Peterson said his wife fell down a flight of stairs.

Authorities showed up Wednesday night for another search of the Peterson home. It is not clear what they took away, but some of the items looked like computer equipment. An initial search occurred Sunday.

In court papers, an investigator said officers saw blood on the sidewalk leading to the front door and inside the front door. He also wrote that Michael Peterson was covered in blood. Officers seized watches, socks, jeans and paperwork from the study.

Police also took wine bottles, a wine glass, a sheet and towel from the master bedroom, and an undescribed item covered in blood. Authorities also searched several cars.


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