Local News

Officials Staying Mum About Bullard Murder News Conference

Posted December 5, 2007 8:55 p.m. EST
Updated December 6, 2007 8:41 a.m. EST

— The Lee County Sheriff's Office was expected to hold a news conference at 11:30 a.m. Thursday to discuss the Michelle Bullard murder case.

Bullard's skeletal remains were found last year after she had been missing for nearly 10 months.

The sheriff's office has kept a tight lid on what will be said. Nobody has ever been arrested in the murder. A spokesman would not say Wednesday whether the  announcement would have anything to do with a suspect or an arrest.

It's the latest development in a case that began nearly two years ago.

Bullard, 23, was kidnapped on Jan. 2, 2006. Investigators said an armed man wearing a mask broke into a mobile home in the Broadway area of Lee County. Bullard was there watching TV with three friends.

Authorities say the man tied the friends with tape and left each in a separate room, then stole cash and small valuables. When they freed themselves, Bullard and the intruder were gone.

Her wallet and purse turned up a few weeks later along a road in southeastern Cumberland County.

In October 2006, nearly 10 months after her disappearance, a hunter found Bullard's remains. They were in an old cemetery in the Cedar Creek community of Cumberland County, five miles from where her belongings turned up.

An autopsy report stated Bullard died of blunt force trauma to the head. The report said there was no evidence of injuries other than a blow to the left side of her head.

Investigators never named any suspects, only identifying David Earl Wilson, 49, as a person of interest. They said he roughly fit the description of the intruder. But 19 hours after Bullard's disappearance, he committed suicide on a Harnett County road when deputies tried to pull him over.

His family told WRAL last year that his suicide had nothing to do with Bullard and that he was suffering health and marital problems.

Wilson served more than 20 years in prison after pleading guilty to a murder in 1975. It's not clear if he and Bullard knew each other.

Bullard's mother told WRAL by phone that she plans to attend Thursday’s news conference in Sanford. She said she doesn't know what the announcement is but said she doesn't think the case will ever be completely closed.