Woman found dead in Cape fear river was naked, had zip tie on wrist

Sunday, March 04, 2018 05:57PM
FAYETTEVILLE, North Carolina - A 19-year-old whose body was discovered in the Cape Fear River was found naked with a zip tie around her wrist, an autopsy report said.

According to WSOC, the autopsy suggests Kristen Stone could have been smothered, suffocated or drowned. Media outlets report that the pathologist couldn't give an exact cause of death.

Stone was found in the river by a fisherman on August 9.

Authorities charged 33-year-old Charles Cottingham with first-degree murder in Stone's death.

Court records indicate Cottingham was charged with sexually assaulting Stone a year earlier in Hoke County.