Lovelace autopsy performed in Raleigh Monday

Jan. 15, 2013 @ 09:58 AM

An autopsy was performed on the body of Deborah Russell Lovelace on Monday in Raleigh. One week ago Monday afternoon, Lovelace was reported missing.

The body of the 46-year-old woman was discovered at 2:30 p.m. Friday in a heavily wooded area off Flat Rock Road, said Rutherford County Sheriff Chris Francis.

The body, partially wrapped, was found about 500 yards from the area where her husband, Ryan Heath Lovelace's body was discovered Tuesday at 12 p.m.

Ryan Lovelace died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head.

Francis said Lovelace was positively seen on Thursday, Jan. 3 and may have been seen as late as Saturday, Jan. 5 before she was reported missing on Monday, Jan. 7 at about 4 p.m.

Family members called an off duty officer with information that foul play was occurring regarding the Lovelace family.

"We know she was seen on Jan. 3," Francis said. "She may have been seen on Saturday, Jan. 4, but we are not completely sure about that date."

The couple's minor child was reportedly taken to the home of a family member on Monday before the crime occurred.

From the time of the report at 4 p.m. last Monday, sheriff's officers began searching the areas of Flat Rock Road, Rambling Road and also Greene Road where the couple lived, off Chase High Road.

Officers were assisted by N.C.State Bureau of Investigation, Rutherford County Emergency Management Coordinator Roger Hollifield, Ellenboro Fire Department, N.C. Highway Patrol Air Helicopter Unit, Cherokee County Sheriff Office Canine Unit, Orville, Becky and Nancy with Southern Pride Search and Rescue Dogs.

The investigation is still ongoing, Francis said.