Neighbors concerned after woman's body found on Durham trail
Posted May 7, 2014
Updated May 8, 2014
Durham, N.C. — Melissa Mills loves the Rocky Creek Trail, even though she says it isn't safe.
"I'm trying to get back in shape and I love the trail," said Mills, who was riding her bike. "I know that it's dangerous."
Investigators are treating the death of an unidentified woman found Wednesday morning along the trail as a homicide.
Durham police Chief Jose Lopez said someone in the area called police around 6:15 a.m. after finding the woman's clothed body near the Elmira Avenue entrance.
Lopez said investigators believe the woman was between 19 and 40 years old and that her body was on the trail overnight.
"At this point, we are trying to figure out who she is and what actually happened here," he said. "There are still a lot of questions we are going to look to answer."
Authorities haven't said what kind of clothing the woman was wearing or provided any details about how she might have died.
According to a 911 recording, however, the caller said there was a lot of blood.
"I don't know if she's dead or not but she's laid out with a lot of blood on her chest," the caller said.
Verlie Shaw, who lives steps from where the woman's body was found, didn't hear any shots or screams.
"You just can't live in a neighborhood without people doing such horrible crimes," she said.
Less than a mile long, Rocky Creek Trail runs south of Fayetteville Street in Durham and ends at Dakota Street just west of N.C. Highway 55.
Mills, the biker, plans to return to the trail because avoiding the area doesn't solve its crime issues.
"For us, to desert the places that are vulnerable does not make the world safer," she said.
Investigators ask that anyone with information about the woman's death should call Durham CrimeStoppers at 919-683-1200. CrimeStoppers pays cash rewards for information leading to arrests in felony cases, and callers never have to identify themselves.