Man charged with murder after claiming girlfriend slipped in the bath

Ash Cant
·3-min read

A man has been charged with the murder of his girlfriend, a 38-year-old mother of two, after he claimed she slipped in the bath tub.

LeeAnn Fletcher Hartleben’s boyfriend Jay Tolson called 911 claiming he believed she had slipped in the bathtub on July 22 in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

Ms Hartleben was rushed to hospital and then died three days later on July 25, three days before her 39th birthday.

A review of the autopsy revealed Ms Hartleben died due to a blow to the head, though it was determined it could have been either accidental or intentional, the Virginian Pilot reported earlier in October.

How her head was struck was “undetermined,” according to a report from the Virginia Office of the Chief Medical Examiner that was obtained by The Virginian-Pilot.

LeAnn Fletcher Hartleben was rushed to hospital after being found in her bathtub in July this year. Source: Facebook
LeAnn Fletcher Hartleben was rushed to hospital after being found in her bathtub in July this year. Source: Facebook

However, on October 27, a grand jury indicted Tolson with the second-degree murder of Ms Hartleben and he was arrested in Maine, OBX Today reported.

Following the arrest, Ms Hartleben’s family revealed she had tried to escape her alleged killer.

Tolson had been living with Ms Hartleben in July, after meeting him just five weeks earlier, WAVY reported.

The last time woman was seen

Trisha Cahoon, Ms Hartleben’s cousin told the local news station she felt bad for Tolson, who said he had been kicked out of the place he was living and offered him a room.

After Tolson moved in, their relationship became more intimate, though on Monday, July 20, Ms Hartleben started backing Tolson’s belongings and putting them on the front porch.

“LeeAnn had started packing his stuff and removing his stuff from the home, and that was the last time anybody heard from her - 4:30, 5 o’clock Monday afternoon,” Ms Cahoon told WAVY.

On July 22, Ms Hartleben was found in her bathtub, though the Associated Press notes several of the rooms in Ms Hartleben’s home were covered in blood.

According to People, Tolson was the one who made the 911 call, telling the dispatcher she had slipped.

“She had been drinking and she fell in the kitchen,” Tolson can be heard saying in the 911 call, according to People.

“She’s breathing really loudly. I just can’t get her to wake up.”

Ms Fletcher’s family released a video on YouTube, showing images from the crime scene as well as the 911 call, the video includes “evidence” gathered by the family and a private investigator, who was fired by the family.

LeAnn Fletcher Hartleben's boyfriend Jay Tolson has been charged with second degree murder. Source: Facebook
LeAnn Fletcher Hartleben's boyfriend Jay Tolson has been charged with second-degree murder. Source: Facebook

On social media, Ms Cahoon set up the Justice for LeeAnne campaign.

“Praise God, thank you everyone,” she wrote on the public Facebook page following the news Tolson was arrested in Maine without incident.

“No words can adequately express my feelings of humble gratitude for your support and prayers for LeeAnn and our family.

“Continue to pray for Justice through a conviction of Jay Tolson for 2nd Degree Murder. Thank you.”

Ms Cahoon previously said Ms Fletcher was murdered and the police have considered Tolson to be a person of interest.

With Associated Press

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