Local News

More Details Emerge, But No Arrests in Rocky Mount Slaying

Posted May 1, 2007 12:10 p.m. EDT
Updated May 1, 2007 6:13 p.m. EDT

— The hands of a Rocky Mount woman found dead in her burning apartment were severed, according to the state medical examiner's office in Greenville.

The new details about the case were released Tuesday as police continued their investigation into the death of Ellen Sharpe, 65.

Firefighters answered a call to Sharpe's home at 1709 Fletcher Drive about 5 a.m. Friday. That's when they found her body.

Investigators said they believed someone severely beat and strangled Sharpe, then set her apartment on fire to try to destroy any evidence.

Police, however, have yet to establish a motive for the crime. Nothing, they believe, was missing from the apartment, and there did not appear to be any signs of forced entry.

They also question whether Sharpe knew her attacker or attackers. Authorities told WRAL late Tuesday afternoon that they had identified at least one person of interest in connection with the case, but had yet to make any arrests.

Like police, Sharpe's neighbors said they want to know why she was a target, and they worry about their own safety because of the attack on her.

"I don't know what to think," said Monica Horne, who lives nearby. "I didn't think it would happen so close to me like that. It scares me more than a little bit to know that they're still out here."

Rocky Mount police ask that anyone with information that might help investigators to call 252-972-1485 or Twin County Crime Stoppers at 252-977-1111.

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