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State, Local Authorities Search for Clues in...

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LUMBERTON β€” Lumberton police are having troubleidentifying the two victims if a suspected double murder Wednesdayafternoon. Early reports indicate the bodies were badly burned, butdetectives have not yet confirmed that suspicion.

There was a fire at the scene, possibly set to cover up a crime. Investigators won't say much about what they found, except that thereare signs of murder.

Lumberton police called in the SBI to help with the investigation.State agents searched inside and out for clues and answers to what happenedat the McArthur Street residence.

Lumberton Police Chief Harry Dolan says a home health care nurse summonedfor help after discovering smoke at the scene. Inside, 78-year oldElizabeth Baxley and 57-year old Sam Braswell were dead. Both lived inthe home.

Family, friends and neighbors gathered around in disbelief. One of thosegrieving is a Nyra Britt. Britt says she used to help the couple cleanhouse. They were always good to her-- two of the best people she had everknown.

Police won't comment on a motive, but a broken window pane abovea lock may be an important clue. Some suspect a break-in may have turneddeadly.

If it is murder, neighbors say they hope whoever did it is caught. Brittsays she'd volunteer to pull the string on the electric chair. Anotherneighbor, Maxine Townsend, is shocked something so terrible could happenso close to her own home in a community many characterize as quiet andsafe.

The victim's bodies will be sent to Chapel Hill Thursday for autopsies.Investigators are looking for positive identifications and the exact causeof death. At this point, there are no suspects in the case.

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