Local News

Wilson Woman Arrested for Her Mother's Murder

Posted March 9, 2000

— Wilson investigators have arrested a woman who confessed to setting the fire that killed 55-year-old Tyree Finch -- and it is her daughter.

Johanna Finch, 24, admitted to police that she set the fatal fire Tuesday night.

Eight places in the house were set ablaze.

Police say the suspect, who suffers from a mental disorder, was angry over a few dollars that were missing from her mother's purse.

"We don't know if the mother confronted the daughter, saying 'You took the money,' or if she just said, 'You might have taken the money.' But we understand that's what the argument started over," says Wilson Police Capt. Carlton Turnage.

Police say Finch stole her mother's car and went to Raleigh, where she was spotted by a security guard.

Neighbors assumed someone else was to blame when police discovered the victim's car missing.

"I didn't know if the daughter had been kidnapped, because they said the car was missing," says neighbor and friend Dorothy Deans.

Clarence Bookman, who tried to rescue Finch from the burning house, was shocked to hear of Johanna's arrest.

"I was surprised to hear that she did it. That's a real shocker to me because why would anybody want to hurt their own mother?" he says. "Why would you want to hurt the person that gave you life?"

Johanna Finch is being held in the Wilson County jail.


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