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Murder Investigation Continues As Rich Square Prepares For New Police Chief

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The suspect is described as a black male, 6'2", medium build, medium/dark complexion.(WRAL-TV5 News)
RICH SQUARE — Three months after Rich Square's police chief was gunned down in the line of duty, a new chief will take over Monday. But Joe White's killer still has not been caught.

"I think if they had a good lead it would have turned up by now," says David Cooper, a resident of Northampton County.

Cooper, and other customers at Claudine's Restaurant do not discuss Joe White's murder as often as they used to. But when Rich Square residents do talk about the death of the popular police chief, many voice frustration that there has not been an arrest yet.

"The longer time goes by, the colder the trail gets," says Rich Square resident Gary Fields. "I'd think it'd be harder for law enforcement to find leads and follow them up, unless this person talks or makes a mistake."

Chief Joe White was shot to death in July during what investigators believe was a traffic stop.

Lawmen are circulating a drawing of the suspect, and a description of the green SUV he was driving.

The vehicle is described as a green Ford Explorer or Nissan Pathfinder with a bug shield on the front and the lettering "AULANDE". The words "I Luv Aulander" were on the front license plate.

"We're putting forth every effort to try and find this person," says Sheriff Wardie Vincent.

The sheriff says his department has pursued hundreds of leads, but none have led to the killer.

Sheriff's Deputy Tony Burnett will replace White as police chief Monday.

"He's an asset for Rich Square. He's an energetic young man with great possibility," says Vincent.

On November 17, residents will March from the Rich Square Police Department to the dialysis center where Joe White was shot. It may not help the investigation, but many people living in Rich Square want to do something besides wait for an arrest.

Investigators are offering an $18,000 reward. Anyone with information about Joe White's murder is asked to call the Northampton County Sheriff's Department at252-534-2611or the SBI at800-334-3000.


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