Police investigate after 31-year-old woman found dead in home

by: Mark Becker Updated:

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

More than a week after a woman was found dead in her east Charlotte home, police said they're investigating her death as a homicide.

Friends found her in her bathtub last Monday with a hair dryer in the water.

A light is still on and the front door is scarred where police forced their way in Wednesday to search the house where friends found Tiffany Claiborne, 31, dead in her bathtub with a hair dryer in the water.

At first police called it a death investigation, but their search warrant now said it is being investigated as a homicide.

The warrant stated detectives saw a large bruise on Claiborne's hip, a scratch on her right knee and a small amount of blood in her mouth and left eye.

It states detectives had serious questions for Claiborne's fiancé, who told them their relationship had gotten off to a "rocky start."

He told police he'd gone to the mall and the movies by himself the night she died, but later admitted that there were inconsistencies in his story and then police said the fiancé stopped talking voluntarily and wouldn't let them search the home without a warrant.

"It's like pretty close to home you don't expect to hear something like that," neighbor Sherwin Minott said.

Minott said the police were back Wednesday and Channel 9 was told they've served other search warrants including one to test the hair dryer to see whether or not it could have killed Claiborne.

Minott and others who knew Claiborne are wondering what could've gone so wrong.

"Even though we didn't talk much, she was a neighbor. We said, 'Hi,' smiles, and that was it. But to come back and hear that, it's pretty sad," he said.

Claiborne and her fiancé are from Virginia. Channel 9 spoke with her father Thursday on the phone. He said they are aware that it's now a homicide investigation, but didn't feel comfortable saying anything more.

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