Local News

Vehicles, man, woman sought in slaying of 80-year-old

Posted June 11, 2010 1:12 p.m. EDT

— The Johnston County Sheriff's Office is searching for two vehicles and a man and woman they believe might be connected to the slaying of an 80-year-old Kenly man.

A relative found James E. "Tom" Cooper dead inside his home at 111 Crumpler Road Tuesday evening. An autopsy determined that he died of blunt force trauma to the head, and his death was declared a homicide Thursday.

On Friday, spokeswoman Tammy Amaon said that investigators are searching for a dark red or burgundy Chevrolet S-10 pickup with a light blue drivers' side fender and a small red passenger car with no hubcaps.

The vehicles might be occupied by a white woman with light-colored hair or a white man with long hair or a pony tail.

Authorities have not commented on a motive in the slaying. A neighbor told WRAL News that Cooper's home had been broken into a couple times over the past few months.

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