Local News

Warrant: Body pulled from Durham pond had been beheaded

Posted February 3, 2015

Trinity James Wilkins, also known as Trinity Smith. His decapitated body was found was Durham.

— A Durham man whose body was pulled from a pond two weeks ago had been decapitated, according to a search warrant released Tuesday.

Volunteers participating in a Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service project on Jan. 19 discovered Trinity James Wilkins' body in the Beaver Marsh Nature Preserve, between East Club Boulevard and Interstate 85, after noticing something wrapped in a tarp in the water.

An affidavit to justify a police search of a nearby apartment states that a brown extension cord was used to tie up the gray, plastic tarp and that Wilkins' hands were bound with cloth or clothing.

Police haven't said whether Wilkins' head has been recovered.

Wilkins, 38, also known as Trinity Smith, had been missing since Nov. 24. After his body was found, investigators went to his previous address on Club Boulevard and spoke with a man there who said he had moved in two weeks earlier, according to the search warrant. The man told police that his roommate, Andrew Koko Scheper, had confessed to killing a man, cutting off his head and dumping his body in the nearby pond, the warrant states.

The man also told police that Scheper, 30, hadn't returned home after the body had been found. The search warrant states that a cadaver dog alerted investigators to evidence in the apartment, and police spotted a gray tarp similar to the one in which Wilkins' body was found.

Scheper was arrested a week later in Carrboro, and a Durham County grand jury indicted him Monday on a charge of first-degree murder.

Police seized various items from the apartment, including clothing, bedding, documents, a laptop, cellphones, a knife, the top of a mattress, the back of a desk and part of a door frame, according to the warrant.


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  • gmommaopinion Feb 4, 2015

    What kind of person can do this? My condolences to the family and friends.

  • Cora Blue Feb 4, 2015
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    He was a sweet child as a boy. My heart aches for his family- please keep them in your prayers.

  • Bryan Ayers Feb 3, 2015
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    They don't appear to have been Math majors from the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics.

  • Mabel King Feb 3, 2015
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    I hope they find the head.

  • Ricky Cash Feb 3, 2015

    ISIS is here?

  • OperationNorthwoodsNeverForget Feb 3, 2015

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    Old Testament?

  • Pepe Silvia Feb 3, 2015

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  • Stormcrow Feb 3, 2015

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    Freddy Krueger???

  • Leslie Klatt Feb 3, 2015
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    Wonder where he got the idea to cut off his head??

  • Stormcrow Feb 3, 2015

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    It might just be time to bring back the guillotine and start a head for a head justice.