• Police waiting on autopsy after woman's body found at home

    By: Mark Becker


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Police in Charlotte are waiting for an autopsy to say how a woman died Friday morning before deciding if her death was a homicide.
    Officers found the woman in a home on Dow Road Friday morning.

    They questioned the woman's boyfriend, whom neighbors identified as Thomas Bumgardner, 51, but had not filed charges as of late Friday afternoon. Police found Bumgardner in woods near the home Friday, and jail records show he had been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a handicapped person in June.

    Neighbors say the woman, whom police have not identified, was in a wheelchair and had been in poor health for many years.

    "When she's having trouble breathing, she called 911. I expected this probably not too long down the road ... that they'd find her," Donna Smith said.

    Neighbors say police and ambulances had been to the home many times in recent years, but they don't believe Bumgardner would hurt the woman.

    "They tried to accuse him of stuff, but he ain’t that kind of person," Jerry Smith said. "It's a sad situation. That's all I can tell you.”

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