All Sections

Home | Crime

Autopsy finds Nashua woman died of blunt force trauma, brother charged

Union Leader Correspondent

January 22. 2013 12:50PM

NASHUA - Judith Rolfe, who was allegedly murdered by her brother this past weekend at the home they shared together, died of blunt force trauma to the head, according to investigators.

"The manner of death has been ruled a homicide. Cause of death is multiple blunt force injuries to the head," Assistant Attorney General Peter Hinckley said on Tuesday. The trauma, he said, caused Rolfe to sustain brain injury.

While investigators are still not commenting on the motive behind the murder, or identifying what type of weapon may have been used in the attack, they said more information could be released Tuesday afternoon.

An autopsy was performed on Rolfe, 66, who lived at 8 Belmont St. with her brother, Duane Rolfe, 65. Authorities responded to their home about 10 a.m. on Saturday where they found her body inside. The brother was arrested the same day and charged with her death.

Duane Rolfe was arraigned via video at the 9th Circuit District Court in Nashua on Tuesday morning. He is facing two alternate counts of second degree murder -- one alleging that he knowingly killed his sister and the second alleging that he recklessly killed his sister.

"They are alternative counts," said Hinckley, explaining that is typical for a second-degree murder case.

The defendant, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, did not speak during the court hearing. He stood with his arms crossed leaning against the wall while his public defender, Jacki Smith, spoke on his behalf.

Because Rolfe is facing two felony charges, he could not enter a plea before Judge Michael Ryan on Tuesday. A probable cause hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 29.

Meanwhile, Hinckley would not comment on Duane Rolfe's mental status.

"It is a little early in the game," Hinckley said, adding the defense will address the matter of Rolfe's mental condition when and if it is necessary.

The siblings operated McDonald's kitchen shop in downtown Nashua for decades, according to friends, who said Judith Rolfe took care of her younger brother for many years.

The police affidavit detailing Saturday's crime has been sealed at the courthouse.

Full text of earlier story continues below.

NASHUA - A 65-year-old man accused of killing his older sister this past weekend is expected in court today.

Duane Rolfe, of Nashua, will appear in the 9th Circuit District Court in Nashua to face a charge of second-degree murder in the death of Judith Rolfe, 66.

The woman lived at 8 Belmont St. with her brother, which is where authorities located her body shortly after 10 a.m. on Saturday. Duane Rolfe was arrested for the murder the same day, authorities said.

Police have not yet released any information on how she died or why she was killed, however more information is expected to be released at Tuesday's court arraignment.

The siblings operated McDonald's Kitchenware Store in downtown Nashua for decades, according to friends, who said Judith Rolfe took care of her younger brother for many years.

Crime, law and justice Nashua

More Headlines