Autopsy finds someone killed S.C. woman, 94, in her home


COLUMBIA (AP) - The death of a 94-year-old woman in her South Carolina home this past weekend has been ruled a homicide after evidence found at the victim's autopsy, authorities said Thursday.

Officers investigating Robbie Atkinson's death Saturday in her Columbia home didn't see signs of foul play, Columbia Police said in a statement.

But the autopsy revealed she had been killed by someone, said Richland County Coroner Nadia Rutherford, who said she wouldn't detail how Atkinson was killed because she didn't want to hamper the investigation.

Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook also released few details at a news conference Thursday with Rutherford. Both said help from the community could be vital to solving the case.

Atkinson lived in a busy neighborhood near downtown Columbia and a relative called 911 after finding her dead in her home, investigators said.

"Sometimes people don't realize that something that they saw, no matter how small the detail, is very important," Rutherford said. "They may have seen someone sitting on the porch who normally isn't there. Maybe they thought it was odd, but they didn't know a homicide had taken place."