Kitty Hawk woman dies following possible assault; police investigation continues

LeeAnn Fletcher Hartleben, public Facebook photo

Kitty Hawk police say the investigation continues after the death of 38-year-old LeeAnn Fletcher Hartleben, who was found unconscious in her home last week and died Saturday evening.

Last week, police said they located and interviewed Jay Tolson, Hartleben’s boyfriend and “person of interest” in the case. Hartleben had been hospitalized and in a coma since she was found July 22.

In a Facebook post Monday, police said they are aware of the community’s concern about the investigation into her death.

“It would be inappropriate and counterproductive for us to provide a finding based solely on social media posts or media reports that may or may not be supported by the evidence gathered in this ongoing investigation,” police said. “We are working closely with the District Attorney’s Office to carefully and thoroughly examine all of the evidence submitted before making any final determination.

“At this time, we would respectfully ask that everyone please be patient and allow us to conduct this investigation in an objective and thorough manner. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Leeann’s family,” police said.

Police plan to release more information as the investigation unfolds.

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Kari Pugh is digital director for, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, 94.5 WCMS and News Talk 92.3 WZPR. Reach her at