State News

Cause of insurance examiner's death can't be determined

Posted September 19, 2008 12:30 p.m. EDT
Updated September 19, 2008 12:45 p.m. EDT

— An autopsy says the body of a state insurance investigator that was found in South Carolina in May was so badly decomposed that medical examiners can not determine how she died.

The autopsy report released Friday by the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said the body of Sallie Rohrbach, 44, of Angier, was wrapped partially in garbage bags when it was found. The report said that there were no signs of skull or neck injury and that the body was identified with dental records.

Michael Howell, 40, owner of the Dilworth Insurance Agency, has been charged with murder. Officials said Rohrbach was sent from Raleigh to Howell's Charlotte office to examine his books.

Soon after Rohrbach's body was found, sources within the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department told CBS affiliate WBTV that she died from blunt force trauma and that the slaying occurred inside Howell's office.

Police seized a stick from the office as possible evidence in early June, according to a search warrant. Testing produced positive results for traces of blood on a carpet and computer cord.

Rohrbach disappeared May 14, and her body was founded in a wooded area of York County, S.C., on May 20.