Local News

Two People Arrested In Connection With Death Of Duplin County Woman

Posted Updated

RALEIGH — Two people have been arrested in connection with the death of a Wade woman.

Thirty-two-year-old Jimmy Lee Cashwell has been arrested in connection with the death of Andrea McKinze-Woodlock of Wade. He has been charged with first degree murder, kidnapping and burning personal property.

Officials say they found McKinze-Woodlock's body around 9 p.m Thursday in a private cemetery about a mile away from the wooded area where her burned 2000 Chevrolet Blazer was found.

Phone records led authorities to Cashwell and his common law wife, 52-year-old Mary Bledsole. Bledsole is charged with accessory to murder after the fact.

Officials say both suspects are from Faison and all three worked at the Countryside Villa group home in Cumberland County.

Deputies said McKinze-Woodlock told her family she planned to go to Warsaw April 28 on her way to Chicago, but officials said she did not take any clothes or luggage with her on a trip.

McKinze-Woodlock never arrived at her destination, and one of her sons reported her missing May 6.

Family members said the news of McKinze-Woodlock's death means that they can start the grieving process.

"It brings closure to me because I've always thinking of her being in pain or somewhat suffering, but I know now that we can at least move on," said Ricky Gourdine, McKinze-Woodlock's brother.

Authorities are waiting for an autopsy report to determine how she died. It is unclear what the motive for the murder was.

McKinze-Woodlock is survived by her two sons. A native of Chicago, she moved to Wade five years ago.