Murder Investigation on Insurance Agent - | WBTV Charlotte

Murder Investigation on Insurance Agent

By: Sharon Smith

Police are still on guard at the business where slain insurance investigator Sallie Rohrbach was responding to a complaint.

The owner of Dilworth Insurance, Michael Howell, is now charged with her murder.

Rohrbach was last seen Wednesday, May 14th. Her was body finally discovered Tuesday across the state line in York County.

The tight security at Dilworth Insurance could be for two reasons; to protect the files that Rohrbach was investigating, and because the business could also be a crime scene.

Tim Rohrbach, Sallie's husband, says he does not know all the details, nor does he want to know. He says it would be too painful, and he wants to make sure nothing is exposed that could hurt the case.

Rohrbach says police had overwhelming evidence early on that the owner of Dilworth Insurance is to blame.

"I don't know why someone felt he had to kill my wife to cover up a transaction."

Records show the Secretary of State's Office suspended Howell's business four years ago.

However, Howell was still a licensed insurance agent, and sole-proprietor of the business he took over from his dad.

The more we talk to customers -- the more complaints we hear.

"I'm 54 now and I've been with them all these years! Then I just started having trouble with Mike two, two and half years ago."

One woman asked not to be identified, but like many customers, she says she paid her bills and found out later she wasn't covered.

After too many problems, she took her business elsewhere.

"It was very hard, because I like him -- he's such a nice guy."

Court records show Howell was in over his head. During his first court appearance Monday, he asked for a public defender.

The judge denied that request because Howell reported his monthly income at $6,000. He also reported expenses that totaled $7200, including two 2007 Acuras.

The Department of Insurance says they only had one complaint on Dilworth Insurance, and that they considered it "insignificant." They also say Rohrbach raised no warning signs that she feared for her safety.

Spokesperson Chrissy Pearson says after the emotions have settled, they will review their policy on how they investigate complaints. Some have said Rohrbach shouldn't have gone to investigate a business alone, with no one in the office except the owner -- in this case being Howell.

The Medical Examiner's office says they have been working on Rohrbach's case all day, and hope to have more information on how she died very soon.

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