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More than three months after North Carolina mother of two LeeAnn Fletcher Hartleben’s mysterious death, her boyfriend John “Jay” Curtis Tolson has been charged with second-degree murder.
On July 22, Tolson called 911 and told the dispatcher that he found Hartleben, 38, unresponsive in the bathtub of her Kitty Hawk, North Carolina home, the Virginian-Pilot reported. Tolson said he thought she had been drinking and fell in the kitchen. He added that he couldn't get her to wake up.
Hartleben was transported to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Virginia, but died on July 25.
An autopsy report released earlier this month revealed Hartleben died from blunt force trauma to the head, reported OBX Today. How Hartleben’s head was struck and by what was undetermined in report, according to the Virginian-Pilot.
The report did note that issues related to the liver, including hepatic cirrhosis and clinical hepatic failure, were contributing factors to Hartleben's death.
Two weeks after the autopsy findings came out, Tolson, 28, was arrested in Bangor, Maine. He had been named a person of interest in the case initially, but wasn't immediately arrested, the Virginian-Pilot reported.
However, Hartleben’s family members, including her cousin, Trisha Cahoon, quickly suspected foul play. Cahoon posted a video to YouTube purportedly showing blood stains in several rooms of the house, according to the Virginian-Pilot. And she launched a social media campaign -- “Justice for LeeAnn -- that criticized the regional district attorney and the Kitty Hawk Police Department for not charging Tolson.
The Kitty Hawk PD put out a statement on Facebook on July 27 that asked the community for patience, saying it would be “inappropriate and counterproductive for us to provide a finding based solely on social media posts or media reports.”
Tolson is scheduled to appear in Dare County Superior Court on Nov. 30.
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