A North Carolina man has been arrested in Maine and charged with the murder of his girlfriend in July — an outcome LeeAnn Fletcher’s family says may never have happened if they’d been content with the official police investigation.
John Curtis Tolson called 911 on July 22 to say that Fletcher appeared to have slipped in the bathtub “and she won’t wake up,” WTKR reported. EMTs and police arrived, but only the medical personnel went inside, where they found the unresponsive Fletcher in the tub. She was taken to a hospital, where she died three days later — three days short of her 39th birthday.
From the start, Fletcher’s family was concerned about how the entire incident played out. Tolson never called the family; the hospital notified them 24 hours after Fletcher, a mother of two, was brought in. An autopsy report noted blunt force trauma to Fletcher’s head but reported the cause of death as “undetermined.”
Two days after the 911 call, Kitty Hawk police came to Fletcher’s home, which she shared with Tolson, and collected a comforter that appeared to have blood on it, a fitted sheet, and a pillow. Fletcher’s cousin, Trisha Cahoon, picked up Fletcher’s cell phone from the table where it had been sitting and took it to police, but she said they refused to take it.
A medical report said that Fletcher also had bruising on her shoulders, arms, breasts, abdomen and chest, the Virginian-Pilot reported.
At that point, the family engaged a private investigator, even as Kitty Hawk police asked for patience. The investigator took multiple videos and photographs at Fletcher’s house, with family members president. Cahoon told WTKR that the bedroom “like a massacre” with blood everywhere. The video shows a pool of blood on the bed and on a pillow, with drops of blood throughout the house. A towel and a shirt belonging to Fletcher also appear to be saturated with something that looks like blood.
“This shows foul play and she did not die from natural causes or a fall,” Cahoon said. “She is a good individual that had a heart of gold that was brutally murdered for no reason, and she will never rest until there is justice.”
The investigator shared his findings with prosecutors, the State Bureau of Investigation joined the case, and on Monday, a Dare County grand jury indicted Tolson on a charge of second degree murder. He was arrested later in the day in Bangor, Maine, and will be returned to North Carolina for trial
Speaking to the Outer Banks Voice, Cahoon said she was “happy, and I’m excited.”
“I feel like if I hadn’t done what we did, we wouldn’t be here today,” she said.
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[Featured image: LeeAnn Fletcher/Facebook]