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Detectives still waiting for murdered woman's autopsy results

by Tia Lyons | December 23, 2021 at 12:00 a.m.

The investigation is continuing in the murder of an El Dorado woman who was found earlier this month inside her residence at a local apartment complex.

Capt. Scott Harwell, of the El Dorado Police Department's Criminal Investigative Division, said Wednesday that he is still awaiting a medical examiner's report from the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory in Little Rock to determine the cause of death for 57-year-old Carolyn Richards.

"We know that the manner of death is homicide. They're in the process of doing their autopsy right now and I hope to receive a phone call at some point ... that could tell us the cause of death," Harwell said previously.

Richards was found dead on the morning of Dec. 8 inside her residence at Haygood-Neal Garden Apartments, 1315 W. First St., Apt. 47.

Officers responded at 7:53 a.m. Dec. 8 to a report of a possible homicide.

Harwell said a friend or family member had gone to Richards's apartment to check on her after becoming concerned when they were unable to reach Richards.

Police have released few details about the case, citing the ongoing investigation.

When asked about the state of the residence when officers arrived, Harwell described the scene as gruesome and declined to comment further.

He said it appeared that Richards had been dead for several hours and that she last spoke to a friend or relative by phone at approximately 7 p.m. Dec. 7.

On Wednesday, Harwell said investigators are still probing the matter and did not have any details they were ready to release publicly.

He reiterated that he hopes that an autopsy conducted by the ASCL will provide concrete information about the type of injuries Richards sustained, Harwell said.

A preliminary report from the ASCL was not available late Wednesday afternoon.

Harwell said EPD detectives have conducted several interviews since officers responded to Richard's residence and sent evidence to the ASCL.

Early in the investigation, detectives briefly reached a "stopping point" but additional details began rolling in shortly thereafter, he said.

"I do not have anything else that I can release as of right now," Harwell said. "We have submitted multiple items of evidence to the Arkansas State Crime Lab for processing and we are awaiting the results of that testing."

Print Headline: Detectives still waiting for murdered woman's autopsy results

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