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Raleigh police make arrest in 2007 murders

Raleigh police arrested James Arthur Whitaker, 45, Friday and charged him with two counts of murder in connection with an April 2007 fire.

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James Arthur Whitaker
RALEIGH, N.C. — Raleigh police arrested a 45-year-old man Friday in the slayings of a man and woman found after a fire in a wooded area off Capital Boulevard in April 2007.

James Arthur Whitaker, 45, Friday faces two charges of murder in the deaths of Simon Alonzo Taylor and Christina Ida Brown Taylor.

Police found the remains of the Taylors, who were married, in a wooded area east of Capital Boulevard on April 17, 2007. They said at the time that it appeared the Taylors used the site as an informal encampment.

Whitaker was acquainted with the Taylors, and the crime was not random, Raleigh Police spokesman Jim Sughrue said. No motive has been established.

Whitaker was being held in the Wake County Jail without bond Friday.

No further details of his connection to the crime or the cause of the fire were released.

Whitaker's criminal record in Wake County dates to 1986 and includes convictions for robbery with a dangerous weapon and common-law robbery, according to state Department of Correction records. He has spent nearly 13 of the past 21 years in prison.

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