Local News

Woman's body found outside Raleigh cathedral

Posted July 28, 2009 8:46 a.m. EDT
Updated July 28, 2009 7:05 p.m. EDT

— Raleigh police are investigating the death of a woman whose body was found on the grounds of Sacred Heart Cathedral in downtown Tuesday morning.

Police spokesman Jim Sughrue said a woman going to the church, at 200 Hillsborough St., to tutor a student found the body around 7 a.m.

Investigators believe she was in her 50s and was homeless. A positive identification, however, is pending.

Police are treating the woman's death as a homicide, which is routine, until her cause of death can be determined, Sughrue said. That is to preserve evidence and information collected from the scene in case the death is ruled a homicide.

Investigators urge anyone with information about the woman's death to contact the Raleigh Police Department at 919-996-3555.

"It is in the hands of the police right now," Catholic Diocese spokesman Frank Morock said.

"School is closed for the summer," he wrote in an e-mail Tuesday. "There are no activities scheduled at the school during summer and only Masses at the Cathedral. I expect Mass to be celebrated at its normal time of 12:10 (Wednesday) afternoon."

The Parrish's priest, Father Dan Oshwald, was on vacation and not available to comment.

Downtown Raleigh resident Jerry Oakley said he is saddened that a body was found on the church grounds.

“That’s like sacred ground. You see kids playing there all the time. There’s a daycare there. I’m just surprised,” Oakley said.