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Officials: Man found in abandoned house died of natural causes

Died of natural causes

Richard Dale Howie

By Shavonne Walker
shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — A Salisbury man whose body was found in an abandoned house died of natural causes, Rowan County officials report.

Richard Dale Howie, 49, reported missing to police on Oct. 18, had last been in touch with his ailing mother, Hannah Howie, earlier that month. His body was found Dec. 3 in a house at 312 Crowder Dixon Road, off Bringle Ferry Road.

Officials initially said evidence at the scene led them to believe Howie’s death was the result of an overdose. However, investigators have confirmed through the N.C. Medical Examiner’s Office that Howie died of natural causes.

Officials with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office said a neighbor walking in the Crowder Dixon Road neighborhood was the person who discovered the body. The medical examiner confirmed Howie’s identification through fingerprints.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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