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Woman's body found in car at Durham mall

Posted May 4, 2008
Updated May 5, 2008

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— Police are conducting a death investigation after a woman's body was discovered in a car at Northgate Mall.

Officers responding to a call found the woman's body inside a car in a mall parking deck at 12:36 a.m. Sunday, police said. She was identified as Virginia French, 38, of Durham.

Police said they awaiting autopsy results to determine the cause of death.

Since 1999, five people have been killed or injured on Northgate Mall property.


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  • Bull City Girl May 7, 2008

    I have lived in Durham for 60 years and I work at Northgate, to me it's no worse than anywhere else you would shop.

  • WilloWSnapper May 5, 2008

    pagirl, congrats on going from worse from up north to only so so worse

  • PA Girl BA May 5, 2008

    Get a grip! All of you phobic people who are afraid to visit Northgate - it is not that bad. I hail from a very affluent area up North - moved to Durham five years ago (live AND work in North Durham) and shop at Northgate mall. Yes - there are some unsavory characters there, but I don't feel unsafe. I think most people who respond negatively to Durham are just snobs. Do any of these people actually live & work here?

  • Tired Of Excuses May 5, 2008

    The woman's body was found in her car at a mall, it could have been at Southpoint, Northhills, or Crabtree. Just because it was at mall in Durham doesn't make the others "safer".
    I hope the family of this woman has closure soon and that authorities find the person(s) who did this.

  • dianadarling May 5, 2008

    OK WRAL where is the POLICE DO NOT SUSPECT FOUL PLAY. I guess you like to leave out these details so you can keep slamming durham.

  • dianadarling May 5, 2008

    Thank you N&O and of course Jim Wise

    "By Jim Wise, Staff Writer
    DURHAM - Durham police say a woman whose body was found early Sunday in a car at Northgate Mall apparently was not a victim of foul play.
    Officers identified the woman as Virginia French, 38, whose last known address was on East Club Boulevard in Durham. Police spokeswoman Kammie Michael said the cause of death had not been determined.

    Police found the body in a car in the parking deck about 12:30 a.m. after they were summoned by passersby.

    "It appeared she had been there several days," Michael said."

  • ncwebguy May 5, 2008

    Every city has bad parts of town. Raleigh is almost twice as large as Durham, yet does not have twice as much crime. A shopping mall, especially one as established as Northgate, should *not* see as much crime as it does. The police sub station has made the area better than it was in the early/mid 90s -- multiple assaults near the Duke East campus wall, agressive pan handling in the parking lot -- but is still less than ideal.

    But as someone else posted earlier, the bad crowd that made South Square so bad it had to be torn down has moved on to Northgate. The outdoor area near the theater would be ideal for restaurants, but no one wants to open there other than the ice cream shop.

    Southpoint has issues -- go to the outdoor "street" on a Friday or Saturday night between the movie theater and the bus stop and *try* to have a conversation with someone standing next to you.

    Facts aren't elitist or scare tactics, they just are.

  • cantseeit May 5, 2008

    The great thing about Durham, are those people who don't come to Durham because of fear. WRAL continues to help with this. As the saying goes,'Durham...find your own cool.'

  • anneonymousone May 5, 2008

    "Since 1999, five people have been killed or injured on Northgate Mall property."

    Do the injuries include things like dropping of boxes on feet? Cash register incidents? Paper cuts? If so, the mall's doing great in the injury department. Without a way to compare it to other malls' injury and death rates, the numbers by themselves are nearly meaningless.

    It seems that most of the deaths there are due to conflicts that start elsewhere and end somewhere that has an audience and guaranteed news coverage.

  • dianadarling May 5, 2008

    been here since 1972
    my car has been broken into twice. Not in durham, but while at work in....RALEIGH.
    If you stay away from certain areas of town you are fine. just like in raleigh. want to be in raleigh on bloodworth st @ 2 am, no. Nor do you want to be on angier ave in durham at 2 am.
    And guess what, my kids have a 7 minute bus ride to a neighborhood school. Near Duke university full of great kids and staff and Duke student teachers and not full of hoodlum stoodents like the press would have you believe.