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BALD HEAD ISLAND, NC (WECT) – The cause of death for a Bald Head Island Police Officer who died in 1999 has been reclassified from definite suicide as "undetermined" after a reexamination of the case, ordered by District Attorney Jon David.
According to the District Attorney's Office, Davina Buff Jones was found dead Oct. 22, 1999 near the Bald Head Island Lighthouse.
She was 33 years old and had been a full time employee of the Bald Head Island Police Department since January of 1999.
Jones died from a single gunshot wound to the back of the head.
Rex Gore, who was district attorney at the time, ruled the case a suicide, but Jones' family disagreed and pursued compensation with the NC Industrial Commission.
During a series of hearings, the State and private attorneys for Jones' family presented evidence, examined witnesses and made legal and factual arguments regarding the officer's death.
The DA's Office said, as a result of the hearings, the Industrial Commission decided serious questions existed concerning the suicide determination and awarded death benefits to next of kin.
David decided to reexamine the case due to the significant differences between opinions and conclusions in this case and arranged for an outside review to be conducted by investigators who were not originally involved.
According to the DA's Office, the newly hired investigators could not come to a consensus concerning cause of death, but could say that a "definitive determination of suicide is not appropriate."
David said the cause of death will now be classified as undetermined and the file will remain open. Any new leads will be pursued.