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Inmate road crew finds body in Durham County

Posted June 30, 2010

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— A state inmate road crew found a body in northern Durham County Wednesday morning, authorities said.

The inmates were cleaning up roadside litter along Old Oxford Road about a mile north of Snow Hill Road at about 9:45 a.m. when they spotted a large plastic bag, said Steve Abbott, spokesman for the Department of Transportation. Thinking it was an animal, they tried to collect it but found human remains inside the bag, he said.

Lt. Stan Harris with the Durham County Sheriff's Office said the body was found at the edge of the woods and was "definitely placed" there.

"We can say it's definitely not an accident. We'll be proceeding as a homicide," Harris said.

The body appears to have been there for several days, he said, and the decomposed state of the body makes determining the age, race and gender difficult.

The body has been sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill to determine the cause of death and possible identification.

"We've already put out our missing persons alerts, and we're starting to get some feedback on that," Harris said. "We're following leads the best we can."

Residents call the area of Durham County where the body was found "the flats." At night, they said, it gets very dark and very quiet, and investigators said it's not surprising that someone would try to dump a body there.

"You could do it. It's easy to do it, but whew, it's just a tragedy man," said Ronnie Perry, who was fishing nearby.


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  • ConcernedNCC Jul 1, 2010

    We can say it's definitely not an accident. We'll be proceeding as a homicide," Harris said......I'm so glad that they don't think someone can "accidentally" die inside a plastic bag.

  • wildcat Jul 1, 2010

    Horrible! I wonder who he/she is?

  • gunny462 Jul 1, 2010

    "The (military) same folks who are to protect our entire country, can't protect their little town???"

    Uhhh... The Posse Comitatus Act is a United States federal law passed on June 18, 1878, after the end of Reconstruction, with the intention of substantially limiting the powers of the federal government to use the military for law enforcement. The Act prohibits most members of the federal uniformed services from exercising nominally state law enforcement, police, or peace officer powers that maintain "law and order" on non-federal property within the United States.

    The statute generally prohibits federal military personnel and units of the National Guard under federal authority from acting in a law enforcement capacity within the United States, except where expressly authorized by the Constitution or Congress

    So please don't blame the military

  • Con Amor luvs u regardless Jul 1, 2010

    When something happens in Durham, everyboby starts commenting on how bad Durham is. But I swear, There are WAYYYYY more bad news/murder stories in Fayetteville than in Durham. And hell, they are surrounded by military! The same folks who are to protect our entire country, can't protect their little town???

  • Bon Viveur Jul 1, 2010

    Durham does it again! When anyone asks me where NOT to move in the triangle I immediately tell them about how rough Durham can be. I lived there a few years back in the 80's and had 2 cars stolen from my gated condo parking lot and then a dead body was found laying on the sidewalk just across the street with about 10 knife holes in it. Durham is still a very worn out crime infested place and I feel sorry for the folks that are forced to live there.

  • godukebasketball Jun 30, 2010

    Foster208 - Thank you. As a Durham Co resident for 10 years, I couldn't agree more with your comments.

  • csplantlover Jun 30, 2010

    That's creepy - that's just down the road from my home.

  • foster208 Jun 30, 2010

    What I see missing or misunderstood in the derogatory comments about Durham being a haven for crime, terrible place to live, etc. is that there are areas that fit that description, but the area in which this poor soul was found is very rural, quiet, desolate, pitch-black at night and inhabited by long term residents. This area is on the way to FCI and Butner and "just happens" to be in Durham County. Why just a fairly short distance up the road is Granville County. As one of those life long residents, I cringe every time I hear of something criminal happening anywhere in this county, knowing that my home town will once again be referred to as "crime infested". If I felt this way, I would have moved a long time ago. All the negativity just steadies my resolve to stay here and defend my town. It is shaking to know that this body was dropped several miles from my home, but in no way give me pause to continue living here. May this person be identified soon and the murder captured.

  • lb27608 Jun 30, 2010

    "...and regarding ignorance... I'm very well educated and know how to do research... look up the Durham crime statistics for yourself and tell me another county with higher violent crime rates per capita: http://crimereporting.ncdoj.gov/Reports.aspx"


  • lb27608 Jun 30, 2010

    "Really???? Where did you get THOSE facts...???? The murder rate is 1.45 times the national average and over the national average in almost EVERY category of reported and tracked crimes."

    The facts come from FBI crime reports. Durham has a crime rate that is lower than or comparable to several other NC cities: Charlotte, Fayetteville, Greensboro...

    whess didn't make any statement about comparing Durham's crime to the national average, maybe because it's essentially a meaningless comparison.