Crystal Brooke Howell, of Maggie Valley, N.C., was being held Monday at the Charles B. Webster Detention Center for North Carolina authorities, according to Richmond County jail records. She will remain in jail pending extradition proceedings.
In a news release on Monday, the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office announced that it has charged Howell with first-degree murder. She was arrested Sunday on an initial warrant charging her with concealing the death of her father, according to the statement.
North Carolina authorities began their investigation after Howell’s father, former Columbia County News-Times sports reporter Michael Joseph Howell, 50, was found dead at his rental property in the Sheepback Mountain community near Maggie Valley on Saturday
Preliminary autopsy results show that he died from a single gunshot wound to the head.
The sheriff’s offices in Richmond and Columbia counties assisted the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office, the Waynesville Police Department, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Maggie Valley Fire Department on the case.