Local News

Couple killed in apparent murder-suicide were in child custody battle

Posted November 14, 2016 6:39 p.m. EST

— A husband and wife who were found shot to death Friday night at a home in Fuquay-Varina were scheduled to meet at the Wake County Justice Center Monday morning to discuss their child custody dispute, according to authorities.

Rebecka Pearce, 30, and Jeremy Pearce, 34, were found dead at a home on McLaurin Lane after Rebecka had called police to report a break in at her parent's home. Authorities said the shooting was an apparent murder-suicide.

The couple's two children, ages 2 and 6, were found unharmed in a locked bedroom. Officers removed the girls and placed them with family members.

According to court documents, the couple had a troubled marriage and were in a custody battle over their girls.

Rebecka Pearce, who styled hair at Salon Blu for more than 10 years, had been staying with her parents after the couple separated.

"Everyone who knew her was better for knowing her," said Tara Gardiner, who worked with Rebecka at the salon. "Becky's little girls were her everything. That's what she lived for was those two precious girls."

Documents show that Jeremy Pearce filed for a protective order against his wife, claiming that she assaulted him in September. He later dropped the claims.

Jeremy Pearce also had his wife involuntarily committed to a mental hospital, claiming she was unstable.

"We feel heartbroken and empty, but knowing that she would want us to stick together the way we are," Gardiner.

On Saturday, Granville County Sheriff Brindell Wilkins confirmed that Jeremy Pearce used to be an active-duty deputy at the department. Wilkins said he was in "complete shock and saddened" by the news.

Wilkins said that Jeremy Pearce was on a 30-day paid suspension, but would not give a reason