Reopening of 42-year-old cold case

AYDEN, N.C. (WNCT)- The Pitt County Sheriff’s office is reopening a more than 40 year old cold case. The case of Sheila Brown was reopened when an administrative assistant was going through old files, came upon this one, and said things didn’t add up.

“I can’t say whether I feel like it was a murder or a rape case, but I can certainly say that natural causes….jumping from the stretch of murder rape and natural causes just doesn’t jive,” Major Paula Dance said.

It was September of 1973 when Sheila Brown was initially found in the woods by a fisherman.

Major Dance said, “found in a unnatural position, clothing missing, and that type of thing certainly would cause any reasonable person to suspect something criminal had been afoot.”

Upon arrival at the crime scene police immediately labeled this case a murder-rape. There were tire marks, evidence that she was dragged, and her missing clothes were more than 300 feet away from where her body was found. Despite those facts, the case was closed and labeled as death by natural causes.

“You don’t find 21-year-olds half naked in the woods with drag marks, you just don’t find that and then say natural causes,” Major Dance said.

Major Dance also said, “if this young lady died from natural causes say in the middle of an uncompromising position it still would be a crime if you die in my car and I drag you out.”

Moving forward the Sheriff’s office would like to go back and give this case a proper investigation. If you have any information regarding the death of Sheila Brown contact the Pitt County Sheriff’s office.

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