Woman in custody after sister’s body discovered in home, Marion police chief says


The Marion police chief said late Thursday afternoon they located a woman after her sister with disabilities was found dead.

On Tuesday, police said they responded to East Court Street for a welfare check after no one could be reached at the home.

Family members told police that a woman lived in the home and needed around-the-clock care. When officers got inside through a window, they found her body in a bedroom. The Marion police chief said it had been there for some period of time.

That person, later identified as 27-year-old Kristin Rutherford, was pronounced dead.

According to family members, Rutherford needed extensive in-home care to ensure her well-being and safety.

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An investigation revealed that Rutherford’s older sister, 34-year-old Casie Lynne McCartha, was the person responsible for her well-being and safety and also lived at the home.

McCartha wasn’t inside the home when Rutherford was discovered, according to police.

A search for McCartha was underway after police secured a felony warrant for concealing the death of a person.

Police tracked McCartha down at the Best Western on Tunnel Road in Asheville, police said. She was placed into custody at the McDowell County Jail under a $10,000 bond.

McCartha had her three-year-old daughter with her, who was not harmed, police said.

“We’re scratching our heads right now,” said Chief Allen Lawrence, Marion Police Department. “There’s a lot of family members who want answers.”

Robert Rise is a contractor and has been renovating the home next door.

He said people have gone in and out of the home over the last few weeks, but he doesn’t recall seeing Rutherford who often used a wheelchair.

“It’s a little disturbing to me because I’ve been next door working for a month or two on the other house,” Rise said. “It’s a shared driveway. You don’t really pay attention to things until after the fact.”

Gwen McCarson works across the street and said she often saw the sisters on the front porch until recently.

“They’re going to catch her no matter what and if she had anything to do with it, she should be punished for it,” McCarson said.

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