Local News

Police: Garner man killed wife, himself

Posted February 26, 2010
Updated July 1, 2014

— Police on Friday identified the man and woman found dead Thursday inside a Garner home in what investigators say was a murder-suicide.

The bodies of Daniel Jonathan Powell, 52, and his wife, Doreen Kay Powell, 46, were found in their home on Whithorne Drive shortly before noon Thursday.

A man called 911 at about 10:30 a.m. and told the dispatcher he had killed someone. Communications staff were able to link the call to the Powells' home, police said.

The man was very calm during the 90-second call, a recording of which Garner police released Friday.

"Well, I just want to confess to a murder," he tells the dispatcher.

"When did this occur?" the dispatcher asked.

"It occurred probably about five minutes ago," he said before the call was disconnected.

When officers arrived at the house, no one answered, so they entered and found the Powells' bodies in an upstairs bedroom, police said. No one else was in the home.

Sgt. Chris Clayton of the Garner Police Department said Doreen Powell had "visible injuries consistent with both a knife and a handgun," while Daniel Powell apparently died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Still, both bodies have been sent to the State Medical Examiner's Office in Chapel Hill for autopsies to determine a cause of death.

911 Call Police: Garner man killed wife, himself

According to a search warrant, police seized a handgun, ammunition, a diary, two written notes and other items from the home Thursday.

"That's just a shock. He was very friendly. I've never really had contact with her at all," neighbor Rob Whittington said.

Neighbors said that the Powells both worked for the U.S. Postal Service and that Doreen Powell used to be in the National Guard. The couple have several grandchildren who played with other children in the neighborhood, according to neighbors.

Carl Walton of the Postal Service said Daniel Powell had been a letter carrier since 1995 and Doreen Powell had been a letter carrier since 1999.

Maj. Matthew Handley, spokesman for the North Carolina National Guard, said Doreen Powell served more than 20 years in the Army, including 15 with the Butner-based 217th Personal Services Battalion of the National Guard. She served in Iraq in 2004-05 and retired from the service in 2007.

"I would have never ever thought anything from over there. They were just model citizens," neighbor David Lowe said.

Police had been called to the home four times in the past, Clayton said, but none were domestic violence-related calls. The most recent call was an animal complaint in 2003.

Daniel Powell had no prior criminal record, Clayton said.


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  • Adelinthe Feb 26, 2010

    What a shame.

    Praying for their loved ones, especially the grandchildren.

    So sad.

    God bless.


  • jackieflash42 Feb 26, 2010

    Sounds like while she was gone off on a tour of duty, alot of time and distance was between them. Is it possible that one of them could've gotten involved with someone else? Maybe when they check phone records and such, they might get a clue if someone outside the marriage was texting or calling and being naughty. In today's world, the internet,texting,and all these popular social websites can wreck havoc on a relationship. Agree or disagree????

  • North Wake Dad Feb 26, 2010

    "Audio * 911 call from 217 Whithorne Drive"

    Words that should never be part of a news story, IMO. I just don't get why people would want to listen to that stuff.

  • North Wake Dad Feb 26, 2010

    WRAL quoted: "That's just a shock. He was very friendly. I've never really had contact with her at all," neighbor Rob Whittington said."

    imyeary wrote: "Very sad, domestic violence is hidden behind closed doors, we never really know our neighbors..."

    @ imyeary - that's exactly what I thought. Neighbors knowing him but not ever having contact with the spouse is a VERY troubling indicator that things were amiss in that house.

  • cth1 Feb 26, 2010

    So sad for the family that is left behind to deal with such a horrible tragedy!!!
    Prayers for the family and friends!!

  • shortcake53 Feb 26, 2010

    So sad for their families. I cant imagine what drives a person to kill their spouse and then themselves. There is no problem that cant be worked out. My sympathies to the families.

  • Granny Feb 26, 2010

    Wildcat.....do you EVER read a complete story??? The husband killed the wife, then killed himself!!

  • dugmeister Feb 26, 2010

    wildcat "Bring the names forth. I want to know as well as they busy-bodies."

    hmmmm.. the funny bit about that line is the "as well as" part. Personally, I don't need or want to know the names until next of kin is notified. It the 'human' thing to do.

  • iamyeary Feb 26, 2010

    Tax records show their property taxes are deliquent, but yet the article says both had jobs with the post office. Very sad, domestic violence is hidden behind closed doors, we never really know our neighbors...

  • Lady Renee Feb 26, 2010

    It doesn't always pay to be first breaking a story; it is so much better to to right (with the facts). In this case, even the next of kin had not been notified when names were in print on WRAL's site. On so many levels, that was just WRONG!