Emporia sisters found murdered

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 8, 2006

MURFREESBORO – The gruesome discovery of two elderly Emporia, Va. sisters, both found murdered near here early Friday evening, has left law enforcement officials in two states with more questions than answers.

On Sunday, Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan confirmed the names of the two victims n Dorothy Hobbs, 74, and her 71-year-old sister Nellie Bradley. Their lifeless bodies were discovered at 7:38 p.m. by an unidentified Murfreesboro resident in a wooded area along a farm path less than one mile north of town off Vaughan’s Creek Road.

Vaughan said Hobbs had lacerations to her neck and face while Bradley had a wound in the chest area. An autopsy on both women was performed Saturday in Greenville. The results are pending.

“This case is being investigated very aggressively in two states, but there’s just not a lot of information we can share at this early stage of the investigation,” Vaughan said.

Vaughan did say that the two sisters were last seen alive in Boykins, Va. at approximately 4:15 p.m. on Friday. He added that the vehicle in which the two were traveling n a 1996 Ford, black in color n was later found behind an abandoned residence near Boykins.

Boykins is located just across the state line, approximately 17 miles northwest of Murfreesboro. Vaughan’s Creek Road is a popular shortcut route shared by residents of both states.

“We do not know if that particular vehicle was driven to the area where the bodies were discovered,” Vaughan noted.

The Sheriff said that an eight-person team of North Carolina SBI agents were on the scene Friday night, gathering evidence and performing forensic investigations of the area where the bodies were found as well as the vehicle.

Sunday afternoon, “Scent Specific” n a Portsmouth, Va. based business n volunteered their services. Highly-trained canines, ones capable of sniffing out month-old clues, and their handlers made their way up and down the farm path. Those findings were not immediately available.

Sgt. Will Liverman of the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office is in charge of the local investigation. The SBI along with the Northampton County Sheriff’s Office and the Southampton County (Va.) Sheriff’s Office are also involved in the probe.

Sheriff Vaughan said those having any information about this case are urged to call the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office (252-358-7800) as soon as possible.

“No matter how small the details, anything we can get to go on at this point will be extremely helpful,” Sheriff Vaughan concluded.