Sallie Rohrbach Murder: Where is Michael Howell Now? – ‘Homicide City: Charlotte Auditing Evil,‘ an episode on Investigation Discovery, tells the terrifying story of Sallie Rohrbach, a 44-year-old state insurance investigator, and how her auditing work ultimately contributed to her death in May 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina. The first time a state insurance investigator was slain while performing their job duties. It was a high-profile case that received a lot of national media attention. The episode tells how the police solved the case and eventually apprehended the offender.
Let’s learn more about Sallie Rohrbach’s murder case, including the killer’s identity and whereabouts.
Sallie Rohrbach’s Cause of Death
Sallie Jordan Rohrbach was born on June 16, 1963, to the late Emmett and Lucy Jordan in Raleigh, Wake County, North Carolina. She had been with her college sweetheart Tim J. Rohrbach for 23 years and had been an insurance investigator for roughly 10 years at the North Carolina Department of Insurance. Her supervisor and coworkers praised her for being extremely organized and disciplined; she adhered to a strict schedule and was never late for work or appointments.
So it surprised her when, on May 12, 2008, she traveled to Charlotte to look into an insurance company but, after two days, ceased returning calls or showing up for work. Tim Pardue, a coworker in the area, was tasked with looking for her on May 16. He contacted her close coworkers, such as Cathy O’Connor, who claimed to speak with her daily. She informed the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department that she had not been in contact with her since May 14, and they began a search.
On May 18, 2008, the police discovered Sallie’s state-owned silver Chevrolet Malibu in the parking lot of a Bojangles restaurant on Charlotte’s west side. On May 20, 2008, the body of the 44-year-old was discovered in a forested region near Fort Mill, South Carolina. The autopsy report listed blunt force trauma as the most likely cause of death, and it was packed in garbage bags. Sallie’s body was severely deteriorated, making it impossible to pinpoint the precise cause of death.
Who Killed Sallie Rohrbach and Why?
On May 16, 2008, Sallie Rohrbach was reported missing. On that day, detectives visited her home and questioned her husband. The investigators reportedly thought Tim’s body language was highly unnerving and easygoing, in contrast to someone whose wife might have gone missing. Additionally, the detectives visited the Dilworth Insurance Agency, run by 40-year-old Michael Arthur Howell, where Sallie had gone for an audit. The last time he saw Sallie alive was when she left his office on May 13 carrying a box of papers.
The police located Sallie’s car on May 18 and searched it for DNA evidence, but they could not identify any suspects. However, one letter was written by hand and addressed Sallie’s marital issues and her intention to separate from her husband. However, Tim was taken off the suspect list since he had a solid alibi for the period of Sallie’s disappearance. Sifting over Sallie’s notes that they had discovered in the automobile, the investigators turned their attention to Dilworth Insurance Agency.
Authorities soon learned that Sallie had uncovered Michael’s involvement in a financial scheme and that he had concealed bank documents dating back 16 months from an audit. He had allegedly embezzled more than $150,000, and Sallie appeared to be right behind him. They chose to pay Michael another visit at work. Michael quickly consented when they arrived at the Dilworth Insurance Agency and requested to search the premises. However, the detectives quickly discovered blood on a computer cord and a sizable portion of the office’s carpet. Blood traces were also discovered in Michael’s vehicle.
Michael, at this moment, turned his back on further cooperation and left. The investigators, however, got a surprise guest while they were obtaining a search warrant. According to the program, Tina, Michael’s wife, approached the detectives and asserted that Michael had confessed to killing Sallie while driving away from the workplace. Michael was detained on May 20, 2008, and charged with Sallie’s first-degree murder based on all the available proof and his wife’s testimony.
Where is Michael Howell Now?
In exchange for the prosecution dropping the possibility of the death penalty, Michael Howell revealed to the detectives where he had placed Sallie Rohrbach’s body. He was given a total term of 35 years, 6 months, and 10 days in prison after entering a guilty plea to 25 charges of embezzlement and second-degree murder in 2009. According to official court records, he is being detained at Pender Correctional Institution in North Carolina. According to his prison documents, his predicted release date is April 1st, 2036.
Tim Rohrbach, Sallie Rohrbach’s husband, said, “There is no justice for the families of the murdered victims, there’s no getting that person back ever.”
In a letter to Rohrbach’s family, Howell’s wife said: “This has been a tragedy for your family as well as for me and my children. I will never know the pain and suffering you have endured. I pray every day that Sallie’s family and my children and I might have a good life again.”