56-year-old Columbia woman identified in death ruled a homicide

Published: Aug. 9, 2018 at 4:14 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 10, 2018 at 2:29 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A 56-year-old woman has been identified in a suspicious death that the Columbia Police started investigating Thursday.

Joan Staub, of Huntington Avenue in Columbia was found by her roommate, according to Coroner Gary Watts. An autopsy indicated the cause of death to be due to blunt force trauma to the upper body. The Coroner has ruled the death a homicide.

The Columbia Police Department started investigating the suspicious death after being called to Staub's home early Thursday morning for a possible break-in.

According to Chief Skip Holbrook, officers responded at 8:30 a.m. after a resident on Huntington Avenue said they found the door open, which they told police was unusual. They then told police they located a female who lives in the home on the floor unresponsive.

Officers determined the woman was deceased. Chief Holbrook said the death is being investigated as suspicious.

Police said as of now, they only know of the two people living in the home. However, Chief Holbrook said the investigation may turn up others who lived at the residence.

"It is important to note that this case does not fit any pattern of similar crimes in the area," CPD Chief Skip Holbrook said. "There is not a specific need to push out a warning to the public. We don't think that we have a pattern of break-ins or assaults; that someone is at large committing multiple acts."

If you have any information on this incident, call 1-888-CRIME-SC (888-274-6372) or visiting or and click on the "submit a tip" tab. Your identity will be kept anonymous, and if your tip leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.

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