Local News

Police: Still No Suspects In Durham Cross Burnings

Posted July 22, 2005 11:25 a.m. EDT

— Authorities said Thursday that they are stumped about who burned three crosses almost two months ago, and are still seeking help from the public.

Ron Hodge, deputy Durham police chief, told the Durham City Council that authorities are considering readvertising more than $22,000 in rewards for information leading to an arrest.

"Information has sort of petered out," Hodge said.

Local, state and federal authorities are still working the case, but Hodge said that it would be difficult to arrest and convict someone without new information.

The crosses -- each about 7 feet tall and 4 feet wide -- were burned in separate spots across the city during a span of more than an hour. Police said yellow fliers with Ku Klux Klan sayings were found at one location.

The first incident was reported at about 9:19 p.m. on a hill near St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at 1737 Hillandale Road.

Half an hour later, officers and firefighters responded to the area of South Roxboro Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway, where they found a cross burning on a hill of dirt near town homes under construction.

A third incident was reported at 10:28 p.m. in a field near Holloway and Dillard streets.

The perpetrators left little physical evidence at the sites. Hodge said police recovered a shoe print from a flier left at one of the scenes, but it was a popular and common Reebok athletic shoe.

Samples of the lumber and burlap used to make the crosses have been sent to an FBI forensic lab in Quantico, Va., for analysis, but they have yielded little information.

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call CrimeStoppers at

(919) 683-1200


(866) 677-5533