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Bullet wound confirmed on deceased Goldsboro man

Posted October 14, 2010

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— Wayne County authorities said Thursday that a wound found on the body of a man they think might have died of natural causes was a bullet wound.

Capt. Tom Effler said a preliminary autopsy confirmed the finding of workers at a funeral home worker preserving the body of James Clifton Best.

Best, 62, was found dead inside his Goldsboro home Tuesday, and investigators initially ruled his death the result of natural causes.

Further autopsy results were pending.

Effler said the circumstances of the case made it difficult to catch the wound, but he said he could not elaborate further.

Authorities say there was no sign of a robbery or any other disturbance at his home.

The case is being treated as a homicide, which is typical in all suspicious-death cases until homicide can be ruled out, Effler said.

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  • Justin T. Oct 15, 2010

    I just hope I don't die in Wayne County without getting a second opinion first.

  • FedUpAmerican Oct 15, 2010

    shortcake53.. How can there have been a mistake made if he had been shot?? Didnt the man bleed? I dont get this one........

    I'm no expert, but it could have been post mortem (no blood flow/loss)... or the blood could have pooled within the body, or the killer could have cleaned up... who knows? At least now... thanks the the funeral home... the police can attempt to do their jobs!

  • FedUpAmerican Oct 15, 2010

    jbarron4950...When there are no visible signs of foul play and an individual has a long medical history there is no reason to perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death.

    You're kidding right? Heck, if these Barney Fife types can't find something as obvious as a gunshot wound, then what chance do they have if this man had been... say... poisoned? The bottom line is simple... ANY unattended death should be fully investigated, which includes a once over by a coroner to determine COD and/or if a full blown autopsy is in order!!! NOT a half baked attempt at a once over by a detective. Notice I didn't say ME or Forensics expert because I find it hard to believe a professional would have given a COD based on assumptions! This whole situation wreaks of ignorance and lazy police work. Everyone, except the funeral home, failed this poor man, and his family and friends. Way to go sheriff Winders! You've got a little employee development/education to work on! Follow procedure!

  • shortcake53 Oct 14, 2010

    How can there have been a mistake made if he had been shot?? Didnt the man bleed? I dont get this one........

  • UPTOP Oct 14, 2010

    I agree with you Jbrron !

  • jbarron4950 Oct 14, 2010

    Sounds to me like they were way too quick to send the body to a funeral home. Funeral Homes aren't supposed to have to back up police investigators or coroners.....Ol Forrester

    When there are no visible signs of foul play and an individual has a long medical history there is no reason to perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death. In this gentleman's case, he was obese and had a long medical history. It would have been extremely hard to look at the body and determine that a gun wound existed unless he was completely undressed. This is probably is wasn't caught until he was about to be embalmed. This was not backing up an investigation.

    Before a body is removed from a residence, the police, sheriff or ME has to give their approval and in this case there was nothing visible to make anyone believe that something was amiss.

  • jbarron4950 Oct 14, 2010

    A small calliber weapon has no place in a community. You can't get close enough to any living thing to kill it unless it is a person who is unable to defend him or herself.....anne53ozzy

    Where exactly does a small caliber weapon belong? Wierd statement to be sure. If I were confronted by someone who was trying to harm me or my loved ones, I would much prefer a small caliber waepon than none at all. Wow!

  • MagnumLoads Oct 14, 2010

    Wow check out the armchair CSI's

  • Whatever Geez Oct 14, 2010

    Ol Forrester...the man was 62, nothing showed robbery or anything else. They don't take their clothes off and search. A bullet wound is tiny. Don't be so quick to blame the police for goodness sakes.

  • anne53ozzy Oct 14, 2010

    A small calliber weapon has no place in a community. You can't get close enough to any living thing to kill it unless it is a person who is unable to defend him or herself.

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