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Sheriff’s Office: Gold Hill woman likely killed during break-in

GOLD HILL — Rowan Sheriff’s Office detectives said Friday a 79-year-old woman was likely killed in her home during a break-in.

Judy Eller Hoffner, who lived on Wyatt Grove Church Road in the Gold Hill area, was found dead by a family member who arrived at Hoffner’s home around 8 p.m. Thursday, a news release said.

Detectives found evidence of a break-in and remained on scene early Friday to collect evidence and interview neighbors. A news release called the incident “a possible homicide.”

Hoffner was the widow of the late Ernest Ray Hoffner, who died in February. In 2019, Hoffner told the Post she made weekly visits to see her husband at the N.C. State Veterans Home on the campus of the Salisbury VA.

She graduated from East Rowan High School in 1960. In 2015, during the 55th reunion for her high school class, Hoffner was chosen to lead festivities for the next gathering

Anyone with information about the incident can contact Det. Simmons or Sgt. Greene at 704-216-8686 as well as Maj. C. Moose at 704-216-8687.

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