Police seeks leads after three bodies found in Durham
Posted January 20, 2015
Durham, N.C. — The Bull City's top law enforcement officer is appealing to the public for help as police investigate the circumstances surrounding the deaths of three people whose bodies were found within a 24-hour period – the latest Tuesday morning near the campus of North Carolina Central University.
"One body is startling," Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez told reporters at a morning news conference. "Nevermind, when you have three, one right after the other."
Lopez said it appears the three cases are not connected.
Investigators were called to the area of Rosewood and Dayton streets shortly before 6:45 a.m. Tuesday after a passer-by reported a body in the road.
When police arrived, they discovered the man, whose identity has not been released, had been shot.
His death has been ruled a homicide as has that of a person whose body was recovered Monday evening in a pond in the Beaver Marsh Nature Preserve between East Club Boulevard and Interstate 85 near Roxboro Road.
The third case, which police have classified as suspicious, involves a man found dead in a townhome in the 3000 block of Colony Road Monday morning.
Investigators haven't said how the two people discovered Monday died. Their identities have not been released either.
In his conversation with the media Tuesday morning, Lopez pounded on the issue of community cooperation in crime control, noting that a number of shootings have taken place in the Bull City since the beginning of the year.
"The solution to stopping any crime is the collaborative effort between the community and the police department," he said.
Anyone with information about any of the deaths is asked call Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200. Crime Stoppers pays cash for information leading to arrests in felony cases and callers never have to identify themselves.
"I don't want to put everything on the community, but this is our problem. It's the community's problem, and we need the community's help," said Durham Mayor Bill Bell, who attended Lopez's news conference Tuesday morning.
The mayor also said that he doesn't want the crimes to overshadow the good that is happening in Durham or to define the city as it continues to develop.
"We're a city that's growing. You're going to have incidents," Bell said. "Obviously, we don't want them to happen like they're happening, but they do, and we're going to try to find out why."