Death of Pinehurst woman following power grid attack ruled a homicide

According to an autopsy report, a Pinehurst woman who died during the power grid attack on Moore County on Dec. 3, 2022, that left 45,000 customers without power has been ruled a homicide. Karin Zoanelli, 87, was found unresponsive later that night. 

“While the decedent succumbed to her pre-existing natural disease, the preceding failure of her oxygen concentrator as a result of a power outage precipitated her demise through exacerbation of her breathing insufficiency. And since the power outage involved reportedly occurred in the setting of a criminal firearm attack on the regional electrical distribution substation, the manner of death is best classified as Homicide,” read the autopsy report from the state’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner obtained by WRAL News.

A Carthage and West End substation was attacked by gunfire. No arrests in the investigation have been made.

The following was written in Zoanelli’s obituary.

“Born in Hamburg, Germany, she was the daughter of the late Carl and Hertha Redlich. Karin grew up in Hamburg, and was an avid figure skater in her teenage years. As a young woman, she had worked as a journalist for United Press International. She met her husband, Bruno, while vacationing in Italy. They were married in Bermuda where they lived until 1967 when they immigrated to the United States, eventually settling in Kensington, MD. Her love for North Carolina undoubtedly motivated her and Bruno’s move to Pinehurst for retirement where she enjoyed a slower pace. Most days she could be found enjoying a meal with friends or helping at her church. Even as her health issues progressed and forced her to slow down, she could always be found on Bruno’s arm surrounded by friends.”

A $75,000 reward is being offered for information leading to suspect(s) arrest and conviction.

Feature photo: Officials investigating a power substation in Southern Pines off Highway 15-501 near Chick-fil-A on Dec. 3, 2022/Sandhills Sentinel.

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