Police say a North Carolina couple were arrested for murder after a pet duck brought investigators to the decaying remains of a missing 92 year old grandmother.
Mark Alan Barnes and Angela Lucille wamsley are accused of killing Nellie Lucille Sullivan, wamsley’s grandmother, after a waterfowl found the old woman’s body under the couple’s trailer in Candler, North Carolina (about 10 miles west of Asheville).
According to North Carolina news, a pet duck of the new tenant who currently occupied the couple’s front Trailer ran under the mobile house and found a temporary grave there.
“Obviously, the duck ran under the trailer of beady eyed Lane 11. When they chased their pet duck, they ran past Nellie Sullivan’s container,” sergeant. Mark Walker of the boncombe County Sheriff’s office told Asheville television wlos. “If I could give that duck a medal, I would.”
Walker described the previous search for a 92 year old woman as a “wild goose chase”.
According to the sheriff’s office in bamlevin, the body was later confirmed by the sheriff’s office. Officials did not immediately disclose the cause and manner of her death.
“Since the beginning of the investigation, we have been trying to find Ms. Sullivan’s body, give her the respect she deserves and restore the dignity of the life she has lived through,” Angie Tullis, director of the criminal investigation division of the boncombe County Sheriff’s office, said in a statement on April 21.
The investigation dates back to December 2020, when County authorities arrested Barnes and wamsley on charges of concealing Sullivan’s death. Investigators at that time accused Barnes of burying Sullivan in a “shallow grave”, and the search warrant for nearby land and various properties initially failed to find the woman’s body.
However, neighbors told North Carolina media wlos that the old woman had actually disappeared for many years.
At the time of Sullivan’s disappearance, the couple were also charged with a series of felonies and misdemeanors, including animal abuse, illegal reconnection to public utilities, two abandoned animals, possession of schedule III controlled substances, possession of drug abuse appliances and possession of synthetic cannabinoids. Barnes was additionally charged with possession of firearms by a convicted felon.
In March, Barnes and wamsley were further charged with four counts of fraud and forgery, felony conspiracy to possess, felony conspiracy to transport and a number of heroin trafficking offences.
Sullivan’s friends have been tortured for months after the old woman first disappeared.
“It bothers me,” neighbor Belinda moody also told wlos in 2020. “I want to know what happened to her.”
Moody’s described Sullivan as “a lovely little old lady”.
“She’ll give you the clothes on her back if she can,” she added.
A spokesman for benkum County Sheriff’s office did not immediately respond to oxygen when contacted on Monday Questions raised around the case.
According to online prison records, the accused North Carolina couple were held in a detention facility in bancolm county. Barnes and wamsley’s bonds are set at $168000 and $32000, respectively.