Local News

Slain Roanoke Rapids woman died of blood loss

Posted January 27, 2011 1:53 p.m. EST
Updated January 27, 2011 1:55 p.m. EST

— A 92-year-old Roanoke Rapids woman found dead in her home last year died of blood loss from stab wounds to the neck, according to an autopsy report released Thursday.

Maxine McCrary suffered multiple stab wounds with a complete separation of her left external carotid artery, which would have caused a very rapid death, according to the autopsy. Other injuries were consistent with a struggle.

McCrary and her 65-year-old daughter, Nancy Burgess, were found dead May 7 in McCrary’s home at 311 U.S. Highway 158.

Police arrested her neighbor, Tony Maurice Gorham, 28, of 325 U.S. Highway 158, and charged him two counts each of first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon. Prosecutors have said they plan to seek the death penalty.

According to search warrants, Gorham told investigators that he took $200 from McCrary and stabbed the women with a kitchen knife.

The autopsy report said that the police investigation indicated Burgess had been talking to her brother on the phone around 7:30 p.m. when she answered her mother’s door. She told her brother she would call him back within 10 minutes, and when she never did, he called police.