MEDICAL EXAMINER: Cause Of Death In Aimee Pitt Death Was Hanging

The Medical Examiner's Office says the cause of death for a young Tarboro woman who had been missing was hanging.

Aimee Pitt was last seen December 30th and her body found last Wednesday night inside the Tarboro home that she shared with her boyfriend. The date of her death has been listed as December 30th.

The Pitt County Medical Examiner's Office says still pending is the manner of death, such as whether it was a homicide or suicide.

Pitt's funeral was this morning in her hometown of Pinetops.

In a search warrant Tarboro police obtained for searching the home they listed the crime being investigated as a murder. No one has been charged in connection with the death.


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A woman whose body was found last week in her home after being missing for nearly three weeks will be buried Wednesday.

The funeral for Aimee Pitt will be 11 a.m. Wednesday at the United Methodist Church in Pinetops.

The visitation was Tuesday night at the Carlisle Funeral Home in Tarboro.

In the meantime, the question of how the young woman died could be answered soon.

Tarboro Police said they expected the medical examiner to release the coroner's report Tuesday, but WITN was told by the medical examiner's office that the case was still under investigation.

Pitt's body was transferred to the medical examiner after it was discovered in the home in Tarboro she shared with her boyfriend last week.

The search warrant that allowed police to search the home on Newsome St. specified it was looking for evidence of relationship problems between Pitt and her boyfriend, Ben Harrelson. He is not facing any charges in Pitt's death.

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Tarboro Police say no one has been charged in the death of Aimee Pitt, a woman found dead last week in the home she shared with her boyfriend. Pitt had been missing for three weeks.

Police say the investigation is continuing.

Meanwhile, the victim's boyfriend has been released from the hospital after nearly two weeks there, recovering from a high-speed, single-car wreck in Halifax County. The Highway Patrol says Ben Harrelson crashed into a sign at 2 a.m. after driving 90 mph in a 55 mph zone on Highway 258 near Scotland Neck. The wreck happened on January 8. Police say Harrelson was released from the hospital Friday, January 21.

Many living in Tarboro and in nearby Pinetops, where Pitt's father works, continue to grieve and offer support to her family.
Marshall Dunn says, "I want to let them know that the community is standing behind them and they have our love, and we really have a deep-felt feeling for their situation."

It's still unclear how Pitt was killed. The medical examiner is expected to soon sign the death certificate, which will reveal the coroner's determination on the cause of death.

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The Tarboro Police Department confirms a body found at a home on Newsome Street Wednesday is that of Aimee Pitt, a woman reported missing about 3 weeks ago. Police say the medical examiner confirmed the identity late this afternoon through dental records.

The 22-year-old woman was reported missing January 3rd, and friends say she was last seen by her boyfriend in the home they shared on Newsome Street December 30th.

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A search warrant that Tarboro police used to find a body in a missing woman's home says authorities are investigating a murder.

The white female's body has not been officially identified, but it was found in the home where Aimee Pitt lived with her boyfriend, Ben Harrelson. Pitt was last seen on December 30th and reported missing on January 3rd.

In two search warrants, obtained by WITN News today, police said they needed the warrant to seize property that "constitutes evidence of a crime and the identity of a person participating in a crime." The crime listed in the application was murder.

In the application for the warrant, Tarboro police say Harrelson told them that he returned from work on December 30th and found Pitt under the influence of alcohol. He claims they had a verbal dispute then he went to bed and she stayed up. Harrelson said he heard the phone ring twice during the night and then in the morning he found Pitt gone.

The warrant says a friend of Harrelson later told police that on that night Harrelson came to his home at 11:00 p.m. and stayed until 12:30 a.m. Police said that contradicts Harrelson's statement that he immediately went home after work.

The warrant also says police interviewed another friend of Harrelson who told them that on December 30th Harrelson sent him several text messages wanting the gate key to gain access to his farmland on Highway 33. That friend told police that Harrelson got upset when he found out that police had questioned him about Pitt's disappearance and that he had told them about Harrelson wanting the key to the farm gate. The warrant says his friend told police "that Harrelson talked about killing himself.

The next day Harrelson was seriously injured in a traffic accident in Halifax County.

Among items seized at Harrelson's home include: a handwritten note, a Lowe's receipt, two scales, one belt, two pill bottles, two red stains from the kitchen floor, a closet rod, a bed sheet, a pocketbook with wallet, a computer, a bookshelf, and swabs.

The search warrant application listed multiple items to be seized by police including computers "and passwords that would provide evidence of relationship problems between Aimie Pitt & Ben Harrelson"

No one has been charged in connection with the disappearance of Pitt. WITN stopped at the home of Harrelson's parents and was told "no comment".


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Police have have now confirmed that the body of a white female was recovered from the home of a missing Tarboro woman.

Aimee Pitt was last seen on December 30th and reported missing on January 3rd.

Tarboro police say they still have not identified the body and they are awaiting autopsy results from the Medial Examiner's Office.

Police did confirm that they obtained a warrant to search the Newsome Street home, but have yet to turn that warrant back into the Clerk of Court's Office.

Neighbors say the home actually belongs to Pitt's boyfriend, Ben Harrelson.

Tarboro Police say they did speak to Harrelson, before he was involved in a car accident as part of their missing person investigation.

The Highway Patrol in Halifax County says Harrelson was involved in a one car wreck at 2 a.m. on January 8. The report says Harrelson was driving 90 mph in a 55 mph zone on Highway 258 near Scotland Neck. Troopers say Harrelson drove left of center, struck an embankment and then a sign. The Highway Patrol says contributing factors to the wreck are listed as driving in a reckless and careless manner. No one else was in the vehicle.

Harrelson has been in Pitt County Memorial Hospital since the January 8 wreck. Detectives say they have been unable to ask him any questions since the crash because of his injuries. Detectives say this has hampered their investigation of what happened to Pitt.

Tarboro Police investigators say the search for Pitt has been their top priority for over two weeks. They say detectives have interviewed dozens of her friends by phone and in person, along with help from neighboring police departments and the Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office.


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Tarboro police say there is still no identification Friday morning of the body of a female found Thursday in the town of Tarboro.

While police would not say whether they believe the body belongs to Aimee Pitt, crime scene tape and multiple police officers were seen at the home where Pitt lived on Newsome Street Thursday afternoon.

Neighbors tell WITN News the home actually belongs to her boyfriend and that there has never been this much police presence there since the woman disappeared.

Shortly before 4 p.m. Thursday, four officers, two of them wearing gloves, went into the house. Police later wrapped crime scene tape around the entire house.

The 22-year-old Pitt was last seen December 30th and just this past weekend around 50 friends, family and community members searched about 30 acres near where she was last seen.

In a news release late Thursday afternoon, police would only say they recovered the body of a white female within the town limits and that body is at an area medical facility for an autopsy and positive identification.

Tarboro Police say they did speak to Pitt's boyfriend, Ben Harrelson, before he was involved in a car accident as part of their missing person investigation.

The Highway Patrol in Halifax County says Harrelson was involved in a one car wreck at 2 a.m. on January 8. The report says Harrelson was driving 90 mph in a 55 mph zone on Highway 258 near Scotland Neck. Troopers say Harrelson drove left of center, struck an embankment and then a sign. The Highway Patrol says contributing factors to the wreck are listed as driving in a reckless and careless manner. No one else was in the vehicle.

Harrelson has been in Pitt County Memorial Hospital since the January 8 wreck. Detectives say they have been unable to ask him any questions since the crash because of his injuries. Detectives say this has hampered their investigation of what happened to Pitt.

Tarboro Police investigators say the search for Pitt has been their top priority for over two weeks. They say detectives have interviewed dozens of her friends by phone and in person, along with help from neighboring police departments and the Edgecombe County Sheriff's Office.

it was not until Thursday that the Tarboro Police Department established probably cause to obtain a search warrant of Harrelson's home on Newsome St., where Pitt lived.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Agree Location: Edge Co. on Feb 22, 2011 at 11:56 AM
    To Evelyn, I TOTALLY Agree with you! Tarboro is the most gossiping, backstabbing town I have ever been in. Everyone knows everyone else's business or if they dont, they make it up! You can't trust anyone in this town. You don't have friends in Tarboro, NC.
  • by Update on Feb 16, 2011 at 08:52 AM
    The Tarboro paper on 2/15 said they are waiting on the SBI lab and they stated the house was searched AFTER a friend's statement conflicted with what Ben told the police.
  • by Evelyn Location: Wilmington on Feb 13, 2011 at 07:12 AM
    Folks why dont you stop all the speculating and trash talkin and concentrate on your own families which i know aint perfect. 2 WORDS GROW UP PEOPLE...Tarboro people are a joke all they do is get in everyones buisness just to make themselves look or feel better...That whole town needs to just leave it alone and let the familiy and investigators handle it..TARBORO PEOPLE KEEP YOUR THOUGHTS TO YOURSELVES YOU JUST MAKE EVERYTHING WORSE..THATS WHY NOBODY LIKES IT THERE!!!!!
  • by ECUMOM65 on Feb 11, 2011 at 11:01 AM
    If my child was missing, Tarboro would be turned on its head by now. Everybody's a suspect imo.
  • by joann Location: greenville on Feb 8, 2011 at 04:14 PM
    ok i see where it says they didnt get probable cause to search the house until the day she was found in the last line of the news article and i havent seen anywhere saying it was searched before. and yes i realize that the police may wait (i think its 24 hours not 3 days) to do a missing persons report but that doesnt mean that you cant report them missing as soon as you notice. and the search warrant shows that her dad reported her missing not him. wonder why?? i dont know him, i do know aimees family and i would not ever want to wrongly accuse someone but this really doesnt add up. i think the community does deserve to know at least the manner of her death. this making everyone wonder isnt doing anyone any good. especially the boyfriend. bc if he had nothing to do with it they should say so bc im sure its hard for him to even go in public in a town as small as tarboro. but if she didnt do it herself what are they waiting for? i starting to wonder about the tarboro pd.............
  • by ? Location: Rocky Mount on Feb 8, 2011 at 08:10 AM
    Is there no new news about amiee?? why is it taking so long for any information to be released??
  • by Jessica Manning Location: Tarboro on Feb 6, 2011 at 10:56 AM
    to AMY (Disgusted) huh, I know who you are, The only one who is rediculous enough to run your mouth!!! Well Mrs. Housand open your eyes. People are not just making up this stuff. there is plenty of reason to point fingers, and your statement goes both ways. She can't hang herself in a closet EITHER!! unless she is an oompa loompa.Yeah Ben is a good guy, we all know that, but so where Tim and Tony, so is every other Jos Smoe who ends up in a bad situation. If he didn't have anything to do with it then why did he lie, and why did he get himself in a wreck trying to commit suicide? Think more into the WHOLE situation before you open your mouth, and that goes to everyone. I believe he is innocent until proven guilty, but if he didn't do it, I believe someone else put her there while he was in hospital, remember people house was searched BEFORE his wreck!!!
  • by From a Mother's P-O-V Location: Greenville on Feb 6, 2011 at 03:45 AM
    My prayers and heart go out to both families. It is a tragedy that this young lady is gone. I did not know her or the young man, but I pray that closure is brought to both families and that healing can begin. It is tragic when something like this happens. I have experienced a situation in my own family where speculation was that the person hanged did not do it to themselves. We never know what is going on "inside" someone to make them feel like there are no other options except to escape. I pray this young lady was not desperate to this degree, but that would leave a murderer on the loose. Either way, her family and friends no longer have her in their lives. Hence, the tragedy. Families, stay strong and continue to pray. God bless!
  • by tired of waiting on Feb 4, 2011 at 10:07 PM
    My prayers go out to the Pitt family if I have sleepless nights waiting for TPD to bring this investigation to and end I certainly know the family and friends are in turmoil.Wht is taking so long.Are they just hoping that people will forget about the fact this young lady has lost her life and her friends and family and concerned citizens in this town have gotten no answers but will just let it drop.I pray that people will start calling the TPD asking when answers will be coming.I pray the article in the Daily Southerner lets them know we haven't forgotten.Come on this needs to be brought to an end.To many unanswered questions for us citizens to feel safe in our town.The question is will someone get away with taking this young girls life? COME ON TPD WE CITIZENS WANT ANSWERS!!!!
  • by rules on Feb 4, 2011 at 10:42 AM
    there is a procedure that must be following when reporting a person missing. It differs depending on the age of the person. I believe adults must be missing 3 days before a report can be filed if the disappearance is not under suspicious circumstances. How hard were family/friends looking before contacting TPD?
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