Husband arrested in Mintz murder

Published 5:59 pm Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Polk County Sheriff Donald Hill holds a press conference to discuss the arrest of Travis McGraw in the murder of Hendersonville realtor Vanessa Mintz.

Police have charged Hendersonville resident Travis McGraw, 44, with one charge of first-degree murder in the death of his wife, Vanessa Mintz.

Hendersonville Police arrested McGraw during a traffic stop around 11:30 a.m. Feb. 23 after which they immediately transferred him to Polk County jail.

Travis McGraw

Mintz’ body was discovered by family at the Saluda Mountain Lodge Saturday, Feb. 19 around 9 a.m. Officials say the 53-year-old died from a gunshot wound.

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Polk County Sheriff Donald Hill said law enforcement had a suspect early on in the case but continued to follow various leads to rule out other possibilities.

“We’re 100 percent confident we have the individual responsible for the crime,” Hill said in press conference held Wednesday evening outside the Polk County Jail.

“At this time it appears it’s going to be a domestic related situation,” he said.

Law enforcement obtained a warrant for McGraw’s arrest Feb. 23 and set up a traffic stop to find him, Hill said. At the time of the press conference McGraw was being transported to the Raleigh Department of Corrections. Hill said his next court date is March 9.

Early on officials said they thought a possible robbery could have taken place.

“As days went on the case started coming together more and more,” he said.

“You’ve got to give these detectives credit. These guys worked since this occurred and worked day and night,” Hill said.

He also said the investigation continues as investigators work to fill in gaps of information.

Hill said McGraw has not made a statement.

“He’s been very quiet,” Hill said.

McGraw and Mintz had been married since Feb. 28, 2009. Mintz’ family owns the Saluda Mountain Lodge where her body was found and had been renovating it at the time.

Mintz is survived by her parents, sisters, two daughters and two grandsons.

Hill said he has spoken with the family who are doing well despite their loss.

“They’ve got a hard day or two coming up ahead,” he said.

A memorial service will be held for Mintz at 2 p.m. Thursday at the First Baptist Church Hendersonville with Dr. Ryan Pack and Dr. Carl F. Mintz officiating. The family will receive friends following the service at the church to celebrate the life of Vanessa. Memorials may be made to the Vanessa Y. Mintz Memorial Fund, c/o Community Foundation of Henderson County, P.O. Box 1108, Hendersonville, NC 28793.

An online register book is available for family and friends by visiting