Local News

Wayne deputies investigate suspicious death

Posted October 13, 2010

— The Wayne County Sheriff's Office on Wednesday was investigating the death of a man whose body was found in his Goldsboro home.

A friend who stopped by James Clifton Best's home on N.C. Highway 111 South on Tuesday morning found Best unconscious inside, authorities said. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

Investigators initially ruled that Best, 62, died of natural causes, but Rouse Funeral Home found a small wound similar to a gunshot wound on his body, authorities said.

Deputies investigate death of Goldsboro man Deputies investigate death of Goldsboro man

The body has been sent to the Pitt County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

Authorities said there was no sign of robbery or disturbance in the home.

“It’s really scary because I live right down the road and I couldn’t think of any reason why anyone would do something bad to that gentlemen,” neighbor William Carter said.

Best, a long-time farmer, is survived by his mother, two sisters and two brothers.

“He was always a real quiet fellow,” Carter said. “(I’ve) never seen much going on at his house. He was just a real nice fellow all the way around.”

Services for Best will be held Thursday at 2 p.m. at the Pineview Cemetery.


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  • FedUpAmerican Oct 14, 2010

    What ever happened to following procedures!!! It someone dies UNATTENDED... there should be an AUTOPSY... where a qualified CORONER will determine the cause of death!!! Not an unqualified law officer!!! Thank God for the funeral home... otherwise... a murderer would have gotten away with it. At least now... there will be an investigation... OMG... what a bunch of nonsense!!! Heck... the poor guy could have been poisoned... then WHAT!!!

  • robert7692 Oct 13, 2010

    Jimmy will be missed by all. He was an outstanding figure in our community. Never bothered anyone. We will miss you Jimmy may you rest in peace

  • cgtucker Oct 13, 2010

    I'm thinking they should have done a little more to begin with also, but given the shape Jimmy was in I almost understant why they didn't. Rest in peace Jimmy, you'll be missed.

  • dare107 Oct 13, 2010

    That is why you do autopsies on unattended deaths! Nice job by the initial investigators? LOL They will never live that one down.

  • wizard633 Oct 13, 2010

    I live @ 3 miles from Mr. Best. When I went by yesterday morning & seen all of Law Enforcement there along with neighbors, I knew something bad had happened to him.

    Mr. Best lived alone & was a very large man. I could see investigators missing a small wound on his body because of his size.

    I'm not sure if he has any family left, but I do know he will be missed by many.

  • eagle_51 Oct 13, 2010

    Yikes! Funeral home found a gunshot wound!