NC mom’s killer inflicted head injuries, before burning victim in her home, report says

FAIRMONT, N.C. (WNCN)- A North Carolina mom’s homicide — where several HAZMAT first responders became ill and were later decontaminated — was caused by injuries to her head, but she also suffered “extensive burns,” officials say


Patricia Dawn Hill, 66, was found dead about three months ago in her home near Fairmont in Robeson County.

The identity of Hill’s killer remains a mystery and a reward is being offered for information that could lead to an arrest and conviction.

Hill, who was also identified as Dawn Mathis Hill in her obituary, operated a beauty shop behind her home on Happy Hill Road near Fairmont.

Hill, who had two grown children and five grandchildren, died in a homicide the result of “multiple blunt force injuries to the head,” according the North Carolina Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

The medical examiner released the autopsy report on Friday.

The call on Aug. 24 initially came in as a HAZMAT situation and as authorities first entered the home, crews were met with a strong chemical odor at the door.

Five people at the scene were then taken to Southeastern Regional Medical Center in Lumberton where they were decontaminated, treated and later released.

The Friday autopsy report also indicated Hill had at least three “circular impact sites” on her head. There were also cuts to her head and abdomen, The Robesonian newspaper reported.

In addition, 70 percent of her body was charred. She was identified by dental records, the newspaper reported.

The report stated that minimal soot in Hill’s airways and only light saturation of carbon monoxide in her body indicated “that she was most likely not alive at the time of the fire.”

It is unclear if the burns came from chemicals or from flames. Calls for clarification placed late Friday to the Medical Examiner’s Office and the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office were not immediately returned.

A $5,000 reward is still being offered for information about who killed Hill and anyone with information should contact St. Pauls Crime Stoppers at 910-865-8477.

— WBTW TV contributed to this report

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