Local News

Chapel Hill Teen Charged With First-Degree Murder

Posted May 15, 2005
Updated December 9, 2006

— The Chapel Hill Police Department has charged a 16-year-old male with two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his parents.

Police said Adam James Spence Sapikowski confessed to killing his parents with a shotgun in their residence on Whitley Drive.

"Adam has submitted a statement indicating that he was responsible for shooting his parents," Chapel Hill Police Chief Gregg Jarvies said.

Investigators said Adam Sapikowski was a junior at Durham Academy, and they do not know the motive for the killings.

"We have no record here in Chapel Hill that he's ever been in trouble," Jarvies said.

Jarvies said the investigation began Friday evening at about 9:30 when an out-of-state relative called the department to report that she had been unable to contact her family in Chapel Hill.

Officers responded to the relative's concern and found the bodies of James Sapikowski, 52, and Alison Powell Sapikowski, 49, inside their residence early Saturday morning.

"They were very fine people," said Rich Gonzales, one of the Sapikowskis' neighbors.

He said he did not notice anything unusual at the house, except that the Sapikowskis' driveway lights had been on for at least a week.

"It's very numbing when something like this happens," Gonzales said. "We don't think those things occur in our area of the world, but it's right across the street from where I live."

Investigators have not determined what time the shootings occurred.

"It appears from a preliminary investigation of the scene that the deaths occurred several days ago," Jarvies said.

Police are still investigating the scene, and they are continuing to interview neighbors, friends and family to try to find a motive for the killings and to find out when the deaths actually happened.

They also said they would speak with people affiliated with Durham Academy to find out if Adam Sapikowski was in school this past week.

The headmaster at Durham Academy said there would be counselors at the school on Monday.

Adam Sapikowski, who lived with his parents, is being held at the Western Youth Institution, in Morganton.


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