Steeplechase photojournalist's death ruled a homicide

10/10/2012 7:45 AM

UPPERVILLE, Va. (AP) - The Virginia reporter and steeplechase photojournalist found dead in her burning home in July died from a gunshot wound to the neck, authorities said on the three-month anniversary of her death.

The Winchester Star reported Oct. 9 the Manassas Office of the Chief Medical Examiner had ruled Sarah Libbey Greenhalgh's death a homicide. The 48-year-old reporter for the paper was found dead in her Upperville home on July 9.

Fauquier County Sheriff's Office Lt. James N. Hartman said the case remains the department's top priority. Police have yet to name any suspects and remain tight-lipped about most of the details in the case.

"The investigation is still in the evidence-gathering stage," he said, adding that detectives are just beginning to get some lab results.

Greenhalgh's mother, Sara Lee Greenhalgh of Poolesville, Md., said she believes an arrest will be made.

"I really trust in the detectives who are working the case," she said in an emotional phone interview. "I don't know much of anything, but I do know they're working very hard.

"I would like very much for this person to be brought to justice."

The grieving mother said she still thinks about Sarah all the time, and can hardly bear to think about what happened to her. She said she is still answering condolence letters from family, friends and the community.

"It's very, very consoling for me and comforting to know I have this much support," she said.

Greenhalgh had covered Frederick County government for The Winchester Star since August of 2011. She had worked at other local papers in Fauquier County and had covered local equestrian sports, especially steeplechase racing, as a freelance writer for The Chronicle of the Horse and other publications for than 20 years.

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