Local News

Wake Forest woman's death a Mother's Day mystery

Posted May 15, 2012
Updated May 16, 2012

— Wake Forest police said Tuesday that death of a woman on Mother's Day and the overdose by her son are suspicious.

Police found Jo Dean Timberlake dead of a gunshot wound inside her home at 812 Durham Road around 5 p.m. Sunday. Her son, Ricky Arlen Timberlake, 63, was in the home and was unresponsive, police said. He was taken to WakeMed, where he was in fair condition Tuesday.

Authorities have not released more details, but said they are not looking for a suspect and want to assure residents that the situation does not present a danger to the public.

Neighbors said that Ricky Timberlake lived with and took care of his mother. She was in failing health, was diabetic and had fallen a couple times, they said.

"It was just stunning, shocking, until I realized what this could be and then it got to be really emotional," said neighbor Biven Andersen. 

Andersen said Jo Timberlake meant the world to her son, and that they never argued. "He was so compassionate about his mother. He was very passionate," she added. Mother dead, son hospitalized in Wake Forest Mother dead, son hospitalized in Wake Forest

Andersen's husband, Dick, said Ricky Timberlake had vowed to care for his mother for the res of her life.

"I can't imagine anybody being overburdened like a caretaker is, and he was her only one," Biven Andersen said.

The Andersens said that a note left on the door told people not to come in and to call 911 instead. Notes were also left in the house, but neighbors didn't know what they said.


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  • btpearce May 16, 2012

    :-( R.I.P. Ms. Jo

  • The Fox May 16, 2012

    [Japan,would never treat their elders as we do here]In Japan these days everybody is an elder.

  • sunshine1040 May 15, 2012

    Karma he most likely made her a promise that she would not have to live in pain and suffer any more then she alrady had. I wish my family would make tha promise to me when the time comes

  • smegma May 15, 2012

    time for the peanut gallery to chime in.

  • gnewsome1 May 15, 2012

    Very very sad to all concerned. This is a very tough spot to be in. It is extremely difficult to watch someone you love have to suffer. If you've been there, you know.

  • 1775 May 15, 2012

    "Some news stories don't warrant public comment. This is one.
    DLWilliams May 15, 2012 1:33 p.m"

    Yet you decided to comment anyways.

  • southerntalent May 15, 2012

    This is perhaps a situation where we in the us should have a say in assisted death.

    I after visiting the "nice" homes with a friend looking for a place for his dad would agree to never put a parent in one of these places,thay are 110% profit driven no matter what any of them say.Name any other business where thay change names every few years.

    Japan,would never treat their elders as we do here,allowing a minimum skills employee to take care of our parents and as happened to my moms friend have lifelong posessions stolen at a home

  • jet9192 May 15, 2012

    This is a sad story and I agree with others that it is one of the most difficult jobs there is to take care of an elderly parent. Because of my mom's condition, she was able to only stay at my house a few nights. I was not capable physically to care for her but the mental anguish dealing with someone whose mind is going is unbelievable. Putting her in a home was a very sad day but something I had to do. I cried for days and nights following because of the guilt and seeing her in her condition. She was once the strongest little 98 pound woman you would ever meet. No one knows what went through the mind of this son that would cause him to OD and harm his mom if he is the one that did so. My prayers are for the family left behind. This is probably the hardest thing they will ever go through. Blessings to all the family. My heart breaks for you.

  • WakeForestLiving May 15, 2012

    This is the first time where I wish this site had "like" buttons for comments. It is a sad story.

  • movingon May 15, 2012