Autopsy performed on burn victim

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 9, 2006

AULANDER – The investigation continues into a residential fire here Monday that claimed the life of a pregnant Aulander woman.

Meanwhile, the woman’s three-year-old son remains in critical condition at the UNC Chapel Hill Burn Center.

Arson investigators joined Bertie Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Ed Pittman at the scene of the fire, a singlewide mobile home. Their findings have yet to be released.

Jimmy Barmer, Chief of the Aulander Police Department, said the fire was called in at 9:19 a.m. on Monday for a blaze at 207 Lombardy Street. Three individuals were at the residence at the time of the fire.

Melissa Harrell succumbed at the UNC Chapel Hill Burn Center later in the day on Monday. She was first airlifted to Pitt Memorial Hospital in Greenville and then transferred to Chapel Hill.

Barmer said an autopsy was performed Tuesday at the Medical Examiner’s Office in Chapel Hill. He said those results are expected in two to three weeks.

Harrell’s son, whose name was not released, as well as Larry Campbell, age unknown, were also at the residence. Both were taken to Pitt Memorial Hospital. Campbell was treated and released, but the child was transferred to the Burn Center in Chapel Hill.