Victim’s home was burglarized


FAIRMONT — The home where a Fairmont woman was found dead on Monday was burglarized, according to the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office.

Details have been scarce since 68-year-old Patricia Dawn Hill was found dead in her home at 1697 Happy Hill Road in Fairmont.

“We are calling it a murder-burglary and we aren’t going to elaborate on that,” said Maj. Anthony Thompson, chief of detectives for the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office. There were no suspects on Tuesday afternoon.

Thompson told The Robesonian he “can’t say” why officers were initially dispatched to the house and that deputies reported the break-in after arriving.

Hill was previously married to the late Ben Hill, a former Fairmont town manager.

Authorities have not released a cause of death or information on what injuries Hill suffered, saying an autopsy has not yet been conducted. Thompson said the Office of the State Medical Examiner will perform the autopsy.

Law enforcement went to Hill’s home at about 9:20 on Monday morning. At least four people, including three Sheriff’s Office employees, then became dizzy and were taken to Southeastern Regional Medical Center, where they were decontaminated, treated and released.

Initial reports indicated the people had been exposed to a chemical, but Thompson said that had not been confirmed, saying there had been “a strong odor” at the home.

“I don’t know where that came from … it wasn’t the Sheriff’s Office. It was never identified as any chemical,” Thompson said.

Multiple media outlets reported Monday that an unknown chemical had sickened people at the home. Such reports were not denied on Monday.

Hill had operated a beauty salon in a separate building next door to her home.

Happy Hill Road was blocked off for much of the day as a Hazmat team and deputies cleared the home.

Sheriff’s Office: Chemical issue unconfirmed

By Sarah Willets

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Sarah Willets can be reached at 910-816-1974 or on Twitter @Sarah_Willets.

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