Local News

Police investigate suspicious death in Fayetteville

Posted March 13, 2011 9:28 p.m. EDT
Updated March 14, 2011 6:07 p.m. EDT

— Fayetteville police are investigating the death of a 74-year-old woman whose body was found Sunday in the historic Haymount neighborhood.

Friends found Christine Gay Yetzer dead in the backyard of her home at 417 Pearl St. on Sunday afternoon. 

Police said a friend had not heard from Yetzer, who lived alone, in a couple of days and stopped by to check on her. 

"He actually brought a friend with him and went through the house," Fayetteville police Lt. Chris Davis said. "They went into the backyard. That's when they found her." 

Yetzer was partially clothed.

"As far as partially clothed, that is very odd. That would lead one to believe she was possibly sexually assaulted," Davis said. "But there were no obvious signs of trauma to the body." 

Davis said Yetzer was suffering from some level of dementia. 

A cause of death has not been determined.

"We're not sure if it was something (to do with) natural causes and it just looks strange," Davis said.  

Yetzer's body has been sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Chapel Hill for an autopsy.

There were no signs of forced entry at the home and nothing was stolen. 

Neighbors said Yetzer lived on Pearl Street for at least 35 years. 

One neighbor said Yetzer would often walk around the block by herself and always waved to people. The neighbor, who declined to be named, said Yetzer used to run a dog grooming business inside of her home. 

Neighbor Jo Hamilton remembers seeing Yetzer sitting on her front porch.

"She would have her little dog out there," Hamilton said. "I'd wave to her, and sometimes she'd wave. Sometimes she didn't."