Local News

Confession Leads To Couple's Arrest In Nash Murder

Posted October 27, 2004 5:14 a.m. EDT

— Police arrested two people accused of killing a man who was reported missing last week.

Kirk and Jessica Keller are charged with first-degree murder in the death of Ken Richardson. Family members reported him missing Friday night. Nash County authorities said a tip led them to the married couple.

"Through the interview and investigation, the information was received that the body and vehicle would be found in South Carolina," said Maj. Dennis Lyons, of the Nash County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators in Darlington County, S.C., found Richardson's car in a wooded area and his body buried in a shallow grave nearby. Investigators believe he was killed sometime Friday near Rocky Mount.

Richardson was well-known in Sharpsburg, where he ran a pawn shop for many years.

"I can't believe somebody did that to him. He was too good to people for somebody to do that to him," said Trudy Garner, Richardson's friend.

"When I heard this morning, I was shocked. I didn't know what to expect," said Donald Hocutt, Richardson's friend.

Richardson's shop backed up to the town's police department. Officers said Richardson often helped the department find people and stolen property.

"He was a business associate and a friend," said Sharpsburg Assistant Police Chief David Young.

Investigators believe Richardson knew the Kellers, but they are unsure about their relationship and the motive. Richardson leaves behind a son, daughter, and his only grandchild.

Kirk and Jessica Keller are both being held in the Nash County jail without bond. They are scheduled to appear in front of a judge on Friday.