As a Carteret County woman awaits her next court date on a murder charge, investigators have released a motive in the case.
Investigators with the Carteret County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday that Rhonda Hagan, 30, of Newport, is accused of killing her great-aunt as a result of a dispute over money Hagan owed her.
Hagan was arrested Sept. 26 and charged with an open count of murder in the death of Goldie Hall, 90, of the Gales Creek community along N.C. 24 in Carteret County. Her next court date is Oct. 12, and she remains in the Carteret County Jail without bond.
Preliminary results of an autopsy performed Monday at the medical examiner’s office in Greenville showed that Hall died from blunt force trauma to the head.
The sheriff’s office said the autopsy results are being forwarded to the N.C. Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill for review.
Investigators say they are not releasing any further details in the case at this time.
The murder charge stems from an investigation that began into Hall’s disappearance after a Sept. 20 fire at her home at 2065 N.C. 24.
The fire was contained to the kitchen area of the house, but Hall was not inside and could not be located after extensive air searches of her property and the surrounding area.
Hagan is accused of killing Hall on the day of the fire, but authorities have not released details on how the crime was committed. A recording of the 911 call reporting the fire released last week has Hagan calling in the fire at her great-aunt’s house.
Hagan was arrested Sept. 26 on the murder charge and made her first appearance in court on the morning of Sept. 27, just hours before Hall’s body was located.
Hall’s body was recovered about 300 yards northeast of the main gate leading to the Garner Farms property at the north end of Carl Garner Road in Newport.