CRIME

Cause of Parowan teacher’s death ‘undetermined’

Apr 24, 2024, 8:43 PM | Updated: 8:53 pm

A yellow plastic police line, blocking off a scene, and showing a blurred police car in the backgro...

A recently completed report by the Utah State Medical Examiner's Office could not come up with a conclusive manner of death for a Parowan's woman who died in December. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

PAROWAN — Police say they are unable to determine how a beloved Iron County school teacher received massive head trauma in her home in December.

Thus, the manner of death for Robin Whittle, 62, will remain unknown unless additional evidence is uncovered.

According to a press release issued Wednesday by the Parowan Police Department, the Utah State Medical Examiner’s Office has completed its assessment and “Robin Whittle’s manner of death could not be determined.

“The report indicates that the ‘pattern of injuries are not specific to a particular mechanism and could be from a fall or a volitional act; thus the manner of death is best left undetermined at this time,'” according to the police statement.

On Dec. 30, police were called to 488 W. Old Highway 91 in Parowan about 6:50 a.m. on a report that a man found his wife unresponsive. Whittle was taken to a local hospital in critical condition and was pronounced dead on Dec. 31.

A search warrant affidavit served as part of the investigation indicated that detectives were treating her death as an aggravated murder investigation.

Whittle was found by police in her bed lying on her back. She had blood smeared across her left arm, face and mouth and there was blood in the center of the bed indicating that she was lying on her side at one point, the affidavit states.

Whittle’s husband said the two had stayed up late that Saturday night writing talks they were scheduled to give in church.

“The victim was seated at the counter in the kitchen, and the husband was on the couch within the family room. The woman retired to bed for the night, but the husband slept on the couch until he awoke in the early morning and discovered his wife,” according to the affidavit.

At the hospital, a doctor told police that Whittle “has multiple skull fractures, severe brain bleed, and bruising around the left eye, face, and behind the left ear,” the affidavit states.

According to her obituary, Whittle was a first grade teacher at Iron Springs Elementary in Cedar City. The obituary says she taught and loved hundreds of children in grades K-3 in California and in Utah for more than three decades and “truly had a teacher’s heart — selfless, loving, and kind.”

If anyone has relevant or helpful information regarding the case, Parowan Chief Addison Adams encourages the public to contact his department.

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Cause of Parowan teacher’s death ‘undetermined’