Investigators: Robbers beat elderly woman in Robeson home
Posted February 16, 2009 1:32 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT
Orrum, N.C. — State troopers investigating a car found in a swamp off Atkinson Road in Robeson County found the owner, Lola Nye, badly beaten Sunday in her home about three miles away.
Robeson County resident Jerry Jacobs said Monday that he had spotted the car around 4:30 p.m. and thought it looked like someone had ditched the vehicle there.
"The front part of the car, the wheels and the headlights, were submerged. The headlights were still on. The radio was playing," Jacobs said.
Jacobs called 911, and a state trooper responded. The driver's-side door was open, and the trooper found the owner's registration.
"We found out who owned the car. We came to her home to check it out," Sheriff Kenneth Sealey said.
Inside the house on South Creek Road, the trooper found Nye, 80, in a pool of blood.
"She had been beaten severely," said Sealey, adding that the crime took place in Nye's home, where she lives alone. Detectives think that someone robbed Nye and stole her car.
Nye was taken to a local hospital and was alert and able to talk to investigators, the sheriff said. Overnight, however, she was airlifted to Duke University Medical Center in Durham, where her condition was not available Monday afternoon.
Sealey said that such violence is almost unheard of in Orrum, a community of 80 people. Residents, likewise, expressed outrage at the crime.
"This is a real quiet community. We have very little crime in this community," Sealey said.
"Whoever done it – to me, they're just not people," Sherry Stephens, of Orrum, said. "They're not human – to do something like that to an elderly person."
At the Orrum General Store, town residents said Nye is a friendly, generous woman.
"She's just a good, Christian, upstanding lady in the community. Everybody loves her," Stephens said. "She's one of those people that would give you the shirt off her back and not expect it back."
Investigators said they expect to make an arrest soon.