I received a tip about an 82nd Airborne Division soldier who had been found dead in her home.
Sadly, this is something we hear regularly enough and it's usually suicide. When I called over to the division's public affairs office, they wouldn't tell me very much, but said to definitely not treat it like a suicide.
I typed up a brief for the web - then even more tips came in via Twitter DM.
Over the next few days, the Army's Criminal Investigation Command (CID) released the victim's name and the FBI would take over. A few more days passed and the FBI said they were looking for the victim's husband and he was charged with her murder.
I found it interesting that the FBI would publicly say someone is charged with murder, but not explain why.
I remembered death certificates are filed in the county where a person has died - and the medical examiner signs off on cause and manner of death. I went to the Cumberland County courthouse, searched the death records for the victims name and found that she was stabbed and beaten.
I was the only reporter in the country to obtain that information.
After I reported it, any other reporter that wrote about this case had to cite The Fayetteville Observer. Because the wanted man has connections to so many places across the country, stories of him were printed everywhere - and most cited my reporting.
You can read my story here:
Behind the byline
Here's an inside look at how some of my favorite stories came together.