Drugs in system of woman found

Mar. 26, 2013 @ 07:39 PM

A woman found dead June 19, 2012, in her vehicle parked at the Henderson Walmart had been decomposing for about a week, according to an autopsy report released Tuesday by the office of the chief medical examiner in Raleigh.

The report signed by Dr. Deborah L. Radisch confirmed 38-year-old Heather Marie Harkinson died of drug overdose complications.

She added Harkinson “was found slumped over the steering wheel of a vehicle that had been parked in a Walmart parking lot for approximately one week,” Radisch wrote. “In my opinion, the cause of death in this case is due to combined cocaine and heroin toxicity, with the respiratory depressant affects of benzodiazepines likely playing a contributing role.”

Henderson police investigated the death reported to them on that Monday evening at Walmart on Cooper Drive.

At the time, Lt. Christopher Ball said there was no indication of foul play, pending the autopsy results.

Ball said the emergency call alerted police at about 5:27 p.m., with reports indicating that a person or persons saw the woman unresponsive in a vehicle.

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.