Local News

Autopsy Offers No New Info About Lee County Woman's Disappearance

Posted March 14, 2006
Updated December 31, 2006

— The autopsy results of a man who committed suicide the same day a Lee County woman went missing reveal little about possible links between the two cases.

Authorities said that David Wilson took his own life a few hours after Michelle Bullard, 23, was allegedly kidnapped from a friend's home on Jan. 2. Both incidents happened within six miles of each other.

Although investigators have not named Wilson as a suspect in Bullard's disappearance, they have said that they were interested in him because he loosely resembled the description of the reported home-invasion assailant.

The autopsy report, released to the media Monday, indicated that Wilson shot himself in the chest with a .44 caliber handgun while being stopped in his car by law enforcement. The medical examiner also found cocaine in Wilson's blood, the autopsy showed.

Detectives are not even sure if Wilson and Bullard knew each other, but they may have both been in a local convenience store the night before Bullard's disappearance and Wilson's death. Investigators took surveillance video from the store to examine whether it shows Wilson and Bullard inside the store.

Another coincidence in the two cases is that Bullard's driver's license was found two counties away from Lee County, near where Wilson's family lives.

Bullard's mother, Karen Riojas, doesn't know what to make of these coincidences.

"I am not accusing anyone," she said. "I'm not going to stand here and point fingers until they provide me with the facts and when I say 'they,' I mean the Lee County Sheriff's Office."

In 1975, at age 17, Wilson pleaded guilty to a homicide that occurred during a bar fight. In 1980, he escaped from prison in North Carolina and was later caught in Michigan. He was paroled in 1998 and parole ended in 2003.

"We can't, cannot, cannot imagine our brother hurting anyone like that," said Wilson's sister, Diane Myatt. "We know, in our hearts, he cannot have harmed this young lady."

Since Bullard's disappearance, investigators and volunteers from more than a dozen agencies have searched in at least three counties for her, yielding few clues. Volunteers did find Bullard's wallet and purse in Cumberland County, but authorities have not said whether they have provided more leads in the case.

Bullard is 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 125 pounds and has brown hair and brown eyes. A $10,000 reward is being offered to anyone who has information leading to her recovery.

Anyone with information that may help solve the case is urged to contact the Lee County Sheriff's Office at (919) 775-5531 or local law enforcement.
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