Local News

Autopsy: Woman Stabbed Before Apartment Fire

Posted March 8, 2007 3:28 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2007 2:23 p.m. EST

— A woman whose body was found two weeks after a suspicious apartment fire had been stabbed before the fire, according to an autopsy report released Thursday.

A Feb. 22 fire at the Pines of Asheton complex on Roselle Court near WakeMed killed Rosa Elena Carranza-Morales, 26; Noureddine Elamrani, 30; and their 11-month-old daughter, Dayna Sofia Elamrani-Carranza, police said.

Raleigh Fire Department investigators found what is believed to be an accelerant inside the apartment. The chemical has been sent to the lab for testing.

But an autopsy conducted by the State Medical Examiner's Office in Chapel Hill determined Carranza-Morales died after being stabbed once in the chest.

The stab wound damaged her liver, aorta and lung, the autopsy report said, and injuries suffered in the fire were post-mortem.

Carranza-Morales took out a restraining order against Elamrani nine days before the fire, according to court records. She said in her filing that Elamrani beat her and she feared he would kill her.

The fire left 17 other people homeless. A 4-year-old girl who lived at the apartment with the victims was found safe with relatives.

The fire remains under investigation by the Raleigh Police Department's major crimes task force.