Associated Press, March 5, 2018
Media outlets report that the pathologist couldn’t give an exact cause of death for Kristen Stone, whose naked body was found in the Cape Fear River by a fisherman on Aug. 9. But the autopsy suggests she could have been smothered, suffocated or drowned.
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.