Save Money in this Sunday's paper

Autopsy: Missing Gaston County woman died of drug toxicity

A missing Gaston County woman whose body was found in a car in a rugged McDowell County ravine in December died from combined drug toxicity, an autopsy by the N.C. Medical Examiner Office has determined.

The autopsy report also noted that a journal found in her vehicle contained a suicide note.

Elizabeth “Liz” Stonger, a 27-year-old mother who had been missing since Oct. 14, died from a combination of bupropion, the cough suppressant dextromethorphan, and the antidepressant sertraline, according to the autopsy report released Thursday.

Stonger disappeared after leaving her job at Walmart in Belmont during a lunch break.

Authorities said the car with Stonger’s body behind the driver’s seat was found about 400 feet off a dead-end road and down a 100-foot embankment. The vehicle was positively identified as Stonger’s by the registration tag and the vehicle identification number.

The body was recovered off U.S. 221 in the vicinity of where authorities said Stonger’s cellphone was last used.

There were no signs of traumatic injury or significant natural disease, and Stonger had a past history of depression, according to the autopsy.

The level of dextromethorphan and bupropion metabolite could have been fatal. Sertraline was also elevated and would have contributed to the drug toxicity, the autopsy said.

DePriest: 704-868-7745
Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK
Quick Job Search
Salary Databases
Your 2 Cents
Share your opinion with our Partners
Learn More