Local News

Body found in burned ruins of Vance County house

Posted September 11, 2008 5:25 p.m. EDT
Updated September 12, 2008 6:25 a.m. EDT

— Investigators found a body Thursday inside the ruins of a Vance County house that burned to the ground, and they speculated that it was the missing woman who lived there with her children.

The fire started at about 11:30 a.m. at 2567 Allison Cooper Road, near Henderson.

"It (the fire) was well under way, and it didn't appear there was much saving to it,” Sheriff Peter White said of the house.

Geneva Parham, 34, lived there with her three children, investigators said.

Tracking dogs and firefighters searched for Parham in the afternoon but found no trail of her in the brush nearby. The children were at school, investigators said.

Parham was still missing Thursday evening, and investigators said the the body discovered after the fire could be hers. It was found in the front, right portion of the home.

The body was sent to the state medical examiner's office in Chapel Hill for identification.

Geneva Parham and her estranged husband, Robert Parham, 36, got into a fight before the fire started, investigators said. Sheriff's deputies were questioning Robert Parham about the fight and fire.

"They had a physical altercation, and we think that Mr. Parham may have some type of wound on his arm or something like that," White said. He did not elaborate on Parham's injuries.

Agents with the State Bureau of Investigation and arson detectives were called to look into the fire.

The wood-frame house dated to the 1800s. Only two chimneys are still standing. The walls and the roof of the two-story home are gone.