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NC Wanted: 90-year-old Ruby Ryals murdered in 1996

Posted November 26

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— Ruby Ryals was murdered a week before Thanksgiving in 1996. 20 years later, her case is still unsolved.

“I thought maybe she had had a stroke,” her son Wesley Ryals said. “It never passed my mind that she had been murdered.”

90-year-old Ryals was found in her home in Dunn. She had been suffocated with a pillow.

“They found her in her bedroom on her bed. And the phone was off the hook,” Wesley Ryals said.

Ryals' wedding ring was missing from her finger, and authorities said it looked like a break in.

“It doesn’t take a lot to over-power a 90-year-old woman, even though by all accounts she was very feisty,” said Mike East, a retired investigator for the State Bureau of Investigation.

Investigators initially accused Christopher Michael Capps, a teenager with a criminal record, who lived across the street and often did odd jobs for Ryals.

“Yeah, I have a criminal background, but it’s nothing wild. I’m a very loving, caring person. I’m like a big teddy bear,” Capps said.

Capps denies any involvement in the crime, despite the fact that he failed a polygraph and other stress tests issued by investigators

“I couldn’t understand how I failed because I was telling the truth on every question they asked,” he said.

Investigators have one major problem with the case. Family members who found Ryals' body thought she had died of natural causes, so they cleaned up the crime scene.

“They made me take polygraph, DNA. I guess it never came back that it was me,” Capps said.

If you have any information about the unsolved murder of Ruby Ryals, call 1-866-439-2683.

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