Body exhumed in probe

First Posted: 10/26/2012

Cory Riner

Staff writer

ST. PAULS — The family of a St. Pauls woman who was believed to have died of natural causes has agreed to the exhumation of her body after police have discovered new information that suggests she may have been murdered.

Trisha Burrow, 63, of East McLean Street, died at her home on March 11, 2011, of what was believed at the time to be ischemic heart disease, but St. Pauls police and the State Bureau of Investigations have found new information suggesting she may have been murdered, according to St. Pauls Police Chief Tommy Hagens.

“At the time, there was nothing to lead us to think that anything but natural causes were to blame for Mrs. Burrow’s death,” Hagens said. “But lately, some new information has been received that suggests that there is a possibility that it was not natural causes. So we, with the assistance of the SBI, requested that an autopsy be conducted and a cause of death confirmed. The family readily agreed to this.”

Burrow’s body was exhumed on Monday from Gardens of Faith Cemetery in Lumberton by St. Pauls police and SBI agents. Her body will be sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Chapel Hill for an autopsy that will determine the cause of death, according to Hagens.

“There may be nothing to it, but we can’t afford to overlook this new information,” Hagens said. “Now we will know whether and how to proceed with our investigation after the medical examiner’s office ruling.”

Paul Terry, editor of the St. Pauls Review, did the reporting for this article.