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Autopsy rules out homicide in Dungannon woman's death

Wes Bunch • Feb 19, 2013 at 9:51 AM

GATE CITY — Authorities in Scott County said autopsy results have ruled out foul play in the death of a Dungannon woman whose body was found lying along a rural roadside Sunday morning.

The Scott County Sheriff’s Office identified the deceased woman as Mary Kathryn Darnell, 57, of Dungannon.

Authorities said Darnell’s death is no longer being investigated as a homicide due to the findings of Tuesday’s autopsy.

“There is nothing that contributed to her death as far as it being a homicide,” Scott County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Lt. Chris Holder said. “Homicide due to violence has been ruled out.”

Although homicide has been eliminated as a possibility, Holder said the state medical examiner’s office in Roanoke did conclude Darnell’s death was not a result of natural causes.

An exact cause of death is pending the return of toxicology tests, Holder said, which could take several weeks, or more, to get back.

Charges related to Darnell’s death could still be filed by authorities depending on the results of those toxicology tests, Holder said.

Darnell’s body was reportedly found at about 9 a.m. Sunday by a motorist on his way to work.

Her body was reportedly located next to a creek that runs along Ohio Street in Dungannon.

Holder said Darnell was last reported as being seen at 10 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 16.

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