Local News

Retired Businessman Found Dead In Home

Posted July 26, 2006 6:28 a.m. EDT

— Durham County authorities are investigating their first homicide case of the year: the death of a retired businessman found inside his house in Bahama.

Sheriff's deputies found the body of Edwin Knowles, 71, inside the house located at

7723 Blalock Road

at about 4 p.m. Tuesday.

"It's a possibility that he had been there for quite a while," said Capt. Paul Martin with the Durham County Sheriff's Office.

Martin said a painter working at the house noticed that the morning newspaper at Knowles' house had not been picked up. When he was unable to contact Knowles, Martin said, the worker contacted Knowles' daughter, who then contacted authorities.

Investigators spent Tuesday at the house and did initial interviews with about 15 people, including some of Knowles' family members and friends. Neighbors told WRAL that Knowles had been shot, but investigators would not talk about the details of the investigation.

Knowles, who had recently bought the house about a month ago was remodeling it, was a longtime businessman who retired about five years ago. He had owned an exterminating business, Bug Man Exterminators, in Durham, authorities said.

He was last seen alive on Monday. Investigators said they believe he had dinner that night at the Angus Barn in Raleigh.

"I saw him go up the road Monday evening about 4:30 or 5 p.m.," said one of Knowles' neighbors, George Crabtree.

Residents who live in the neighborhood on the Little River Reservoir told WRAL on Wednesday that they could not remember any recent trouble in the area, and the answer of who killed Knowles is weighing heavily on members of the small community who now have questions about their own safety.

"What am I supposed to do now?" Crabtree asked. "Lock my door? Or lock and load?"

Durham County sheriff's deputies are also working on a similar unsolved homicide in nearby Rougemont, where 68-year-old Rosa Lee Crabtree was found dead in her house after being stabbed with a pair of scissors. Investigators, however, said the cases are not connected.