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Entries in Michael Neal (1)

Sunday
Jan232011

Autopsy Finds N.C. Police Chief's Daughter Died of Overdose

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) -- The autopsy report on Valerie Hamilton, the daughter of Concord, N.C., Police Chief Merl Hamilton, revealed this week that the 23-year-old died of a drug overdose brought on by a combination of cocaine and heroin.

Michael Neal, the last person to be seen with Hamilton, was arrested on a charge of murder the day after the young woman's body was found in September.

Though there were no signs of trauma to Hamilton's body, which was found on Sept. 19 stuffed in an East Charlotte locker, a lethal amount of cocaine and heroin were found in her system, while a fresh needle mark was found on her arm, according to the autopsy report.

"The question is whether [Harvey] was just present when the drugs were being consumed or whether he injected the drugs. Did he cause her to consume the toxic amount of drugs? And that's what's going to be what the DA makes the decision on," John Snyder, the former district attorney in Union County, N.C., told ABC News affiliate WSOC-TV in Charlotte, N.C.

Snyder said it will be difficult to find proof that Harvey, 34, forced the drugs on Hamilton, and that he expects to see a plea deal in the case. In the meantime, Snyder told WSOC, it makes sense not to drop the murder charge, so the prosecution can re-interview witnesses.

Investigators have said they believe that Hamilton, a swim teacher and triathlete, willingly left a downtown Charlotte bar with Harvey on Sept 15. The autopsy report says drug use was thought to have occurred after Hamilton left the bar.

A registered sex offender, Harvey has been arrested multiple times on charges that included breaking and entering, heroin possession and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, authorities have said.

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