Authorities said Edwin Knowles was killed at his residence located on Blalock Road, sometime after 9 p.m. Monday.
Anthony Rudolph Rankins, 41, of Raleigh, Christy Crittenton, 33, of Creedmoor and Brian Courtney Brooks, 38, of Garner were arrested during a police sting at a Raleigh motel. They have been arrested and charged with first-degree murder and first-degree burglary.
Authorities said Crittenton has a prior conviction in connection with the slaying of a former Durham police officer. According to authorities, all of the suspects have criminal records that range from larceny in Hertford County to assault in Wake County.
Investigators said a fourth suspect, Christopher Brooks, 41, of Raleigh, is still on the loose.
Authorities said Knowles, who had recently bought the house about a month ago, was remodeling it. He had owned an exterminating business, Bug Man Exterminators, in Durham, authorities said.
Investigators believe Knowles may have known at least one of the suspects and let them into his home on the night of the homicide.