Local News

Few Answers In Sanford Woman's Disappearance Despite Arrests

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Linda Watts Prepro
SANFORD, N.C. — Linda Watts loved to walk, even to and from work late at night in her rough Sanford neighborhood. That's what police say she was doing May 11, 2004, when she disappeared. Blood left behind marked her only trail, and it went cold for nearly two years.

"I know time heals the pain of her loss, but it doesn't satisfy the questions," said neighbor Mike Hogan. "And the questions are still there. Everyone wants to know what happened to her."

This week, Sanford detectives caught a break. They arrested Phillip Bunnell and Gilbert Stone, Jr. For Watts' kidnapping, rape and murder. Investigators charged a third suspect, Frederick Spinks, who's in a federal prison in Forsyth County. And detectives have warrants out for 35-year old Eric Quick, who's still on the loose.

However, all of this happened despite no signs of Watts' body.

"Obviously, there's the question about the body," said Hogan. "Where is that? How do police know what they know about these guys?"

Sanford police aren't saying much about the case, but the district attorney told WRAL this wouldn't be the first time he's tried a case without a body. He said he's confident in the evidence investigators do have.

A Wake County assistant district attorney said police could have a confession, a witness, other physical evidence, or some combination of those. But for now, neighbors, friends and family will have to wait for those answers.

"Everybody wants closure," said Hogan.

WRAL spoke with Watts' mother again on Friday. She said police aren't giving her any more details on the case either. Detectives said they don't want to say too much and hurt their investigation.



John Bachman, Reporter
Courtney Davis, Photographer
Dana Franks, Web Editor

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