Local News

Durham man accused of killing wife, abducting children

Posted July 18, 2011 1:48 a.m. EDT
Updated July 18, 2011 6:45 p.m. EDT

— A Durham man was charged Monday with stabbing his wife to death and then fleeing with their three children, prompting an Amber Alert.

Police say Kenya Domon Mangum, 29, stabbed his wife, Amanda Mangum, 23, in the parking lot of a KFC/Taco Bell at 1804 S. Miami Blvd. at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday. He then drove off with their three children – Brianna, Devion and Kenya Mcgruder-Mangum – ages 8, 4 and 2, respectively, police said.

"We saw him jumping on her, and now he took off in a van," a 911 caller told a dispatcher. "She's cut up pretty bad."

Amanda Mangum was taken to Duke University Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Neighbors said that they heard the couple arguing Sunday night and saw Amanda Mangum leaving the house at 1820 S. Miami Blvd. Her husband followed her in their van with the children inside, the neighbors said.

They said they were unsure what the argument was about but noted that Amanda Mangum was holding an envelope and asked Kenya Mangum to give her the van so she could take the children somewhere.

"They were outside arguing. She was standing at the top of my driveway, and he was inside the van with the kids and they were just going back and forth," LaKesha McCullough said. "He was just like sitting there, not responding to her, just looking at her with a straight face. He didn't care."

Amanda Mangum then walked off, McCullough said.

The Durham County Sheriff's Office was called to the Mangum home at about 8 p.m. Sunday, but no one was home when a deputy arrived. The deputy then saw a woman later identified as Amanda Mangum walking along U.S. Highway 70, and he stopped to check on her, authorities said.

The sheriff's office declined to provide more information about that interaction for fear of jeopardizing the investigation of Amanda Mangum's death. The office has turned over all of its information to the Durham Police Department.

An Amber Alert was issued early Monday for the children, who were later found safe with their father in an apartment on Thames Avenue, which is about 10 miles from Miami Boulevard. Police said the apartment doesn't belong to any family members but declined to comment further.

Kenya Mangum was arrested and charged with murder, and officers took the children to the Durham police station at about 5:30 a.m. Family members picked them up later.

Police haven't said if the children witnessed the stabbing, but neighbors said they believe they probably saw it from inside the van.

"I feel sad for the kids. My prayers go out for those kids," McCullough said.

Kenya Mangum has been charged previously with assault with a deadly weapon, assault on a female and communicating threats, but court records show his only convictions were on drug-related charges in 2005 and a sex offense in 2002.