Local News

Death of Kenly man, 80, ruled homicide

The death of James E. "Tom" Cooper, 80, has been ruled a homicide by the Johnston County Sheriff's Office. A relative found him dead inside his Kenly home Tuesday evening.

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KENLY, N.C. — The Johnston County Sheriff's Office opened a homicide investigation Thursday into the death of an 80-year-old man after an autopsy showed he died of blunt force trauma to the head.

A relative found James E. "Tom" Cooper, dead inside his home at 111 Crumpler Road around 7 p.m. Tuesday.

An autopsy was conducted by the Office of the State Chief Medical Examiner in Chapel Hill, and investigators looked for clues at the scene for most of Wednesday.

"Detectives have been assigned around the clock on this investigation and are working diligently to identify and arrest the person(s) responsible for this homicide," Tammy Amaon, a spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, said in a statement.

A neighbor told WRAL News that Cooper's home had been broken into a couple times over the past few months.

Authorities have not commented on a motive in the slaying or said if anything was missing from the house.

Anyone with information about Cooper's death is asked to call the Johnston County Sheriff's Detectives Division at 919-989-5010.


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