Local News

Investigators: Wilson Woman Found in Fire was Murdered

Posted March 7, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST

— Fire raced through a house in Wilson Wednesday morning while neighbors made a futile attempt to save the woman inside. Their efforts may not have mattered, since investigators say the woman's death was not an accident. They say it was murder.

Shortly after midnight, neighbors saw flames and smoke pouring out of the house at 511 Randolph Street.

"I noticed that the porch was on fire, so me and another guy went over there and broke the window and tried to call and get her out, but that smoke was too intense," says neighbor Clarence Bookman.

It was also too intense for 55-year-old Tyree Lucus Finch, who was unable to hear neighbors pounding on her doors and unable to make it outside alive.

As family members and friends gathered outside Finch's home, investigators said the fire was set deliberately.

"In my opinion, there are several places of origin, being at the exits and entranceways into the house," says Wilson Police Det. Joe Bass.

Investigators also say the victim's car is missing. They are looking for a 1990, four-door Chevrolet Cavalier with a North Carolina license plate MXB-8677.

Police are also trying to locate Finch's 24-year-old daughter Joanna to see if she borrowed the car or knows anything about what happened.

If you have any information about the crime, you are asked to call the Wilson Police Department.

The SBI has been called in to help local law enforcement officials solve this crime.