Suspect in 2002 Slaying of Ex-Husband Fights Return to N.C.
The former wife of a Moore County man shot and killed in 2002 is fighting her return to North Carolina after her arrest in West Virginia earlier this week.
Melissa Lynn Rovnak, 44, of Bluewell, W. Va., was arrested Monday and detained in the Mercer County jail in Princeton W.Va. She will be charged in connection with the death of her husband, Scott Rovnak, said Neil Godfrey, chief deputy of the Moore County Sheriff’s Office.
“She’s going to fight extradition,” Godfrey said Thursday. “That process could take several weeks.”
Rovnak’s refusal to waive extradition to North Carolina means the Moore County district attorney’s office will have to apply to obtain a governor’s warrant to bring her back to North Carolina.
Moore County Assistant District Attorney Warren McSweeney said it is “extremely difficult and rare” to fight extradition.
The DA’s office will gather the paperwork and present it to Gov. Bev Perdue, asking her to sign a governor’s warrant to help them bring Rovnak back to North Carolina.
Godfrey said investigators developed new information in the case in recent weeks which resulted in the Sheriff’s Office issuing an arrest warrant. He didn’t elaborate on what the evidence was, but said Melissa Rovnak has long been a “person of interest in the investigation,” because the department “didn’t have enough information to eliminate her as a suspect.”
Family members found Scott Rovnak’s body at his home at 2776 Roseland Road on Dec. 29, 2002. The death was originally reported as a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Days later, sheriff’s investigators determined differently.
The Moore County Sheriff’s Office has several unsolved cold cases, but the Rovnak case is the only unsolved one during the tenure of Sheriff Lane Carter, Godfrey said.
According to a report filed by deputy Stephen Gore, who responded to the call, Rovnak suffered a gunshot wound to the back of the head from a firearm of an unknown caliber. He had apparently been dead for some time.
The body was reportedly found by Rovnak’s then 15-year-old stepdaughter, Kristin Pruitt.
At the time, she told deputies that she had returned home with her brothers Joshua and Logan Pruitt and their mother, Melissa Rovnak.
Contact Tom Embrey at (910) 693-2484 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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