Police Investigating Mysterious Death of Woman, 87
Posted May 14, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
MORRISVILLE — Police suspect foul play in the death of an 87-year-old woman, whose body was found Thursday in her car a day after she was reported missing from an upscale retirement home a day earlier.
Alice Covington's body was discovered inside her 1993 silver Mercury Sable by a construction worker. The car was parked in a field about 100 yards from Davis Drive near the intersection with Koppers Road in Morrisville.
Police are still awaiting results of an autopsy to determine the cause of death, but they are treating this as a homicide, and have made a positive identification of Covington's body. They say they have suspects in mind.
Covington lived at Springmoor in north Raleigh for 14 years. She was last seen Tuesday and was reported missing by a nephew Wednesday about 9 p.m. That report touched off a large-scale search in Raleigh for Covington's Mercury Sable.
A key piece of evidence in the the investigation is the silver car that was taken to a crime lab. The car, said to have belonged to Covington, appeared to have been stuck in the mud.
"There are more appropriate facilities back in Raleigh where they can take it into a covered area with lighting in a controlled environment, where you don't have a whole lot of outside elements and stuff like that," Morrisville Police Sgt. Allen Rushing explained. "It's a lot easier. There's a lot less chance of us missing anything there."
Clara Knight has lived next door to Covington for years:
"She was caring," Knight said. "She was thoughtful. She liked to cook. She liked to do things for other people. She was active in her church. She ran the convenience store here, and she was on an errand to stock it."
Rushing said no cause of death has been determined, and no weapon has been found.
"There wasn't a weapon found at the scene, as of yet," Rushing told WRAL's Wisdom Martin. "But we're just waiting for the toxicology reports just to confirm our beliefs and, until we get that back, we're hesitant to say exactly what we think caused her death." andGil Hollingsworth