Local News

Autopsy: Slain Wendell Woman Likely Strangled

Posted November 6, 2006 3:56 a.m. EST
Updated December 25, 2006 2:57 p.m. EST

— According to the state medical examiner's office, the body of a slain Wendell woman was so badly decomposed that authorities may never know how she died.

But there is some indication that Cynthia Moreland might have been strangled, the autopsy report said.

Authorities said Moreland, 48, was kidnapped from a downtown Raleigh parking deck on Aug. 22. She was found dead nearly two weeks later behind a barn in rural Harnett County.

Antonio Chance, 29, has been charged with Moreland's kidnapping and murder. Prosecutors have announced they plan to seek the death penalty against Chance.

Moreland didn't have any broken bones and had no drugs in her system, according to the autopsy report. She also was found clothed only in her underwear, the report said.

Pathologist Maryann Gaffney-Kraft said the combination of those three factors "strongly suggest homicidal asphyxia as the cause of death," although she said she couldn't say for certain how Moreland was killed.