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Cumberland County detectives solve 1974 slaying

Posted October 15, 2010

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— Cumberland County homicide detectives announced Friday that they have solved the 1974 slaying of a 21-year-old Sanford man that had been declared a cold case.

Anthony King was found dead along Bremer Street on July 8, 1974, authorities said. He had been shot in the chest.

Investigators at the time interviewed numerous people but couldn't determine a suspect or motive.

Thanks to a witness who came forward recently, investigators say they believe that King was killed by Waylon Perry Sauls, a then-47-year-old resident of Sanford. Sauls died in 1997 of acute alcoholism.

"Sometimes we can't answer why they want to come forward," said Charlie Disponzio, a Cumberland County Sheriff's Office detective. "Sometimes when you get older, you want to clear your conscious of things. We've had several cold cases like that where somebody waited a decade to come forward with information."

Sheriff's office spokeswoman Debbie Tanna said that, had Sauls lived, investigators had enough evidence to take the case to a grand jury for a first-degree murder indictment.

Teressa Dominguez, sister of 1974 murder victim Anthony King For victim's sister closed case doesn't bring closure

King's sister, Teressa Dominguez, said Friday that the announcement gave her some relief but not complete closure.

"My parents, they're dead now, but I wish they could have (experienced this) because they would call every week for probably five years before they finally gave up," Dominguez said.

Investigators believe that Sauls killed King during an argument over a $300 drug debt that Sauls' son owed King.

Sauls came to the Fayetteville apartment where King was staying with his sister and convinced King to go on a ride with him. Investigators said that Sauls then shot King and left his body on the side of the road.

Sauls was identified as the perpetrator based on new information given by a friend of King that was corroborated with other evidence, Tanna said.

His only previous offense was a drunken driving charge.

King's death marks the seventh cold case that Cumberland County sheriff's homicide detectives have solved since 2004.

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  • kjackson47 Oct 21, 2010

    this story is not believable and not true
    how can detectives not know this man still has living relatives?
    no wonder cumberland county has so many problems

  • ghimmy51 Oct 15, 2010

    The good news happened when a drug dealer was taken off the streets.

  • wildcat Oct 15, 2010

    Why did it take the witness over 30 years to come forward? Something is not right or the witness was ate up with guilt.

  • joannemckoy Oct 15, 2010

    Thanks to a witness who came forward??? With what evidence??? Why now?? Guilt? The man died in 1997 and this person just now came forward with evidence? Think about it …. Sound like obstruction of justice.

  • susuqlove02 Oct 15, 2010

    As a dad, I cant say that I'd would do any differently if someone was selling my kid drugs.
    Another drug dealer shot, so what?
    My vote goes out to the dad.

  • Suasponte Oct 15, 2010

    WRAL, How many of these 7 solved homicides have resulted in criminal charges? Finish the story.

  • AnotherIgnoredComment Oct 15, 2010

    guess they solved it....or just blamed it on a dead guy with no record

  • mountainboy92 Oct 15, 2010

    Sounds like a bunch of hearsay. Looks like the new chief is trying to make himself look good; closing a bunch of cases. Sure...lets blame a dead guy 36 years later so they have no defense. Why even bother...you can't prove it and now you tarnish a dead guy’s name that can't defend himself. Sad!

  • Baybee Doll Oct 15, 2010

    Good job!!

  • archmaker Oct 15, 2010

    while i believe the police have probably found the truth finally, it does bother me that the alleged suspect is dead and cannot mount a defense if he is not guilty. (of course, if he is guilty, i hope its on his record where ever he went!)

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