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Neighbors search for answers to Durham woman's stabbing

Posted November 11, 2013
Updated November 12, 2013

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— A tight-knit Durham neighborhood struggled to find answers Monday to the weekend stabbing death of a resident.

Maxine Burns, 50, was found dead Friday night inside her home at 2917 Cedarwood Drive in south Durham. Her husband, 51-year-old Timothy W. Burns, has been charged with murder in the case.

"She was a kind, loving person when we were kids and would play at her house with her daughter and son. She would make us sandwiches," next-door neighbor Melanie Pratt said Monday. "She was just a sweet lady, and she would ask us if we needed anything."

Maxine Burns, Durham stabbing victim Stabbing victim remembered as sweet, giving

Police haven't released any details about the case.

Tim Burns was released from a local hospital on Tuesday and was being held without bond in the Durham County jail. He had been hospitalized since Friday night with undisclosed injuries.

In a 911 call released Monday, a woman said she saw blood on the couple's front door but couldn't get inside because the door was bolted shut.

"I don't know what's going on. It's not normal," the woman told a 911 dispatcher. "They normally come to the door. I'm able to get in, and I'm not (now). I've been banging on the door and everything."

Tim Burns is a retired police officer who left the Durham Police Department in the late 1990s after about 15 years of service, officials said.

Pratt said he left the police force after a car accident. She and other neighbors said the couple had lived on Cedarwood Drive for about 20 years and seemed happy together.

Pratt said she will never forget Maxine Burns' sweet nature.

"Just her smile and how graceful she was to everyone," she said.


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