Local News

Authorities ID body found by inmate road crew

Posted July 1, 2010
Updated July 2, 2010

— Durham County authorities on Thursday identified a body found Wednesday by inmates cleaning litter from the side of a road.

Wanda Rose Spence, 43, of Elmo Street, was last seen on June 22. Authorities used dental records to identify her body.

A group of state inmates was cleaning up roadside litter along Old Oxford Road about a mile north of Snow Hill Road when they spotted a large plastic bag and found human remains inside, authorities said.

The body appears to have been there for several days, said Lt. Stan Harris of the Durham County Sheriff's Office.

The cause of Spence's death wasn't released, but Harris said investigators are treating the case as a homicide.


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  • deyday Jul 2, 2010

    A least they WRAL didn't list her crimnal record here like the story on the four men killed in SUV accident

  • mrr03 Jul 2, 2010

    Some people like Durham and find it a great place to live and work. Other people do not like Durham so much. To the people who do not like Durham I say, thanks for not coming over to our city for our fine reasturants, entertainment, sports and world known medical facilites. Please stay your down south country self out. P.S. I cleaned the last sentence up..but you get the message

  • cam7002 Jul 2, 2010

    Um, treating the case as a homocide? Well, that's a pretty good starting hypothesis since seldom do people climb into trash bags and die of natural causes beside the road.

  • connietubiolo Jul 2, 2010

    Sure, crime is everywhere...but there are so many places in Durham where the crime rate is very escalated!! What a terrible place to live!!! All the fixing up and redecorating the city does not solve the high crime rate!!

  • kbow80 Jul 2, 2010

    Crime is everywhere so, it really doesn't matter where to locate too. I'm from the country and the crime rate is on the rise. From one person to multiple people being killed at a time. Unless you are taking your family to heaven then expect crime in any form.

  • Outforjustice Jul 2, 2010

    WRAL ran a missing persons story on Thursday morning during the 7 am news. In it they described what she was wearing and that she was missing since 6/22. My gut feeling then was that they already knew that the body was that of the missing woman. So sad that she was discarded on the side of the road. I truly hope they find the individual(s) responsible. No one deserves to die in such a manner, regardless of who they are and what their circumstances in life may be.

  • dejavu2u Jul 2, 2010

    If you go to Durham, please... lock your doors and carry ID. It helps greatly in notifying your next of kin.

  • sssh.. whisper Jul 2, 2010

    "Durham is getting so ridiculous. I can't wait to get my family out of here."-stephyruns

    In case you haven't noticed... there is crime EVERYWHERE!!

    The sad thing is if no one reported her missing. I hope the situation is "figured" out.

  • Sidekick Jul 2, 2010

    It's smart of the authorities to consider this a homicide. Surely she didn't kill herself inside the plastic bag along the side of the road.

  • scarletindurham Jul 2, 2010

    Durham is getting so ridiculous. I can't wait to get my family out of here.