Death remains under investigation

Feb. 17, 2013 @ 06:26 AM

Entering the sixth month of investigation, the death of a Rutherford County employee at the Rutherford County Airport seems no closer to a resolution.

On Friday, a case worker with the North Carolina State Medical Examiner's Office said the autopsy report for Edward Robinson, 63 of Rutherfordton, has yet to be released by the state's pathologist.

That leaves the case still pending and on hold.

Calls to Dr. Eric Duval, associate chief medical examiner, were not returned on Friday.

On Aug. 8, Rutherford County EMS was dispatched to the Airport to the report of a "cardiac arrest" however, when they arrived they requested a Sheriff's deputy and, RCSO Chief Deputy Jeff Buchanan said that an initial report was taken.

Buchanan said that the Sheriff's Department opened a criminal investigation and that there was an "assault that took place" at the Airport between Robinson and Robert Garth Craig, 37 of Rutherfordton.

Eyewitnesses told investigators it appeared that Robinson was having a seizure or heart attack.

Det. Billy Scoggins with the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department, the lead investigator in the case, said that there are many potential options for cause of death.

"The doctor we spoke with in Asheville felt confident that the death was going to be because of a traumatic brain injury," Scoggins said, in an earlier interview with The Daily Courier. "We know, in this situation, it can come from a blow or a fall or even it could have been natural. There are a lot of different things."

Law enforcement officials have not divulged any additional information as to the incident, citing that the case remains open. However, Robinson died the following Saturday at Mission Hospital in Asheville.

"Just because there was a fight, does not mean that it was caused by that," Scoggins said. "They want to be sure if they come out and say this is what caused the death, they can cite evidence."

Robinson was a "long-time" employee of the Rutherford County Airport while Craig was not an employee, but has been described as a flight instructor at the Airport.

At this point, there have been no charges filed in the case, pending the autopsy report being released to law enforcement officials.