Local News

Wake Murder Case Leads To Child Pornography Investigation

Posted July 20, 2005

— Authorities say they are now conducting a major child pornography investigation that stems from a homicide case earlier this year.

In April, authorities responded to a fire at a trailer on Sun Catcher Lane. When they arrived, they found Karen Winters and her brother-in-law, Nathaniel "Zane" Winters, next to the trailer with gunshot wounds. Zane Winters died while Karen Winters was hospitalized with serious injuries.

Authorities arrested 62-year-old Bernard Sanford, Karen Winters' roommate, and charged him in connection with the double shooting and fire.

As family members sifted through the debris at the trailer in May, they found hundreds of pornographic pictures that included Sanford and underaged children. The family members turned the pictures into police, who conducted an investigation at the burned-out trailer and another home belonging to Sanford.

"Everybody was stunned, astonished, upset and disgusted to find out the pictures went back this far, and we had no idea this was going on," said Winters' wife, Elaine Winters.

Authorities also found computer evidence, connected to the case. They said the evidence goes back decades. After looking at court records, WRAL has found that Sanford has been in the area since 1980.

Sanford is currently in jail awaiting trial for murder. Police say charges are pending in the child pornography case.

People who know Sanford told WRAL that he was a teacher in the 1970s and say they believe the crimes date back to that time.

Police are asking any victims who may be out there, no matter how old their case, to come forward -- not only to aid the investigation, but so that they can also get help.

"Some of the victims now may be adults," said Raleigh Police Department spokesman Jim Sughrue. "And this may be an unresolved part of their life."

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