87-year-old woman's death during Moore County power grid attack ruled homicide

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Wednesday, August 30, 2023
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PINEHURST, N.C. (WTVD) -- An 87-year-old woman's death during the blackouts caused by an attack on power substations in Moore County has been ruled a homicide.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner released Karin Zoanelli's autopsy report Wednesday.

Zoanelli, of Pinehurst, died in her home on Dec. 4, 2022. She had chronic lung disease which required her to use an oxygen machine at night.

The medical examiner said when Zoanelli's house lost power, it exacerbated her breathing problems and resulted in her death.

The power outage was caused when a coordinated attack took out Duke Energy substations in Moore County. The attack left 45,000 people in the dark for almost a week.

Moore County's Sheriff previously called the attack "targeted" and intentional." Yet, nearly a year after it happened, no arrests have been made. A reward of $75,000 is available for tips that help solve the case.

Local, state and federal lawmakers have all raised concerns about the security of substations and other utilities in the United States as a result of this attack.

Now, according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of North Carolina, the attackers are responsible for killing Karin Zoanelli.

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