Autopsy gives no clues in girl’s death

Published 5:00 am Thursday, June 28, 2001

An autopsy has yielded no clues as to the cause of death of a16-year-old Brookhaven girl who was found at a Brookhaven motel,said Lincoln County Sheriff Lynn Boyte.

“We don’t know anything additional from that,” Boyte saidfollowing the Wednesday night autopsy on Victoria Stapleton. “Westill don’t know what happened.”

Stapleton, of 506 East Minnesota St., was found dead around 11a.m. Tuesday in a room at the Super 8 Motel near Interstate 55. Shehad responded about two hours earlier when a maid came to clean theroom, authorities said.

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Boyte said the autopsy was able to rule out a heart attack, butauthorities must await blood work results before another possiblecause can be determined. Blood work results could take severalweeks.

There were no signs of struggle in the room and it was notdisturbed, Boyte said earlier Wednesday. The girl’s jewelry was notmissing.

Authorities spent Wednesday questioning motel guests and othersinvolved in the case. The investigation is continuing.

“We’ve got to keep talking and running down leads as they comein,” Boyte said.

Stapleton, the daughter of Billy Ray and Flora Hunt of FranklinCounty, was staying with a sister, Nicole Gatlin, in Brookhaven andhad attended school in Wesson, Henderson said.

Williams’ Mortuary is in charge of Stapleton’s funeralarrangements, which are incomplete.