State joins investigation into July death of Kitty Hawk woman

Amanda LeeAnn Fletcher Hartleben

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation has joined the probe into the death of  38-year-old Kitty Hawk resident Amanda LeeAnn Fletcher Hartleben, who died in July after being last seen with her boyfriend.

District Attorney Andrew Womble said he requested the SBI’s assistance “after discussing preliminary findings with the [Virginia] Medical Examiner’s Office.”

Hartleben was found unconscious in her home July 22. At the time, police said they were looking for her boyfriend, Jay Tolson, as a “person of interest” in a “possible assault.” Investigators later located and interviewed Tolson, but no charges were placed. On July 25, Hartleben died at a hospital in Virginia.

The case has caused some uproar in the community, with many questioning why there has been no arrest.

Womble said the investigation continues as authorities “continue to wait” for an official autopsy report.

Kitty Hawk police Chief Joel Johnson said his department, too, requested the assistance of the SBI and has been in discussions with their agents about the case since the early stages of the investigation.

Bringing the agency into investigations by local law enforcement is standard practice as the state can provide additional resources.


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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