Leads develop in double murder

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 10, 2006

MURFREESBORO – Several leads have developed in the murders of two elderly Emporia, Va. sisters.

The bodies of Dorothy Hobbs, 74, and her 71-year-old sister Nellie Bradley were discovered at 7:38 p.m. on Friday along a farm path north of Murfreesboro off the Vaughan’s Creek Road.

“We’ve had some calls on this case and we’re following the leads which developed from that information,” Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan said.

The Sheriff would not go into specific details about the leads.

“There’s just not a lot we can say at this moment other than we are working very hard on each and every lead we receive,” Vaughan said.

The sheriff did confirm that the area where the bodies were found remains as the focal point of the investigation. Using manpower on both the ground and in the air as well as specially trained bloodhounds, that area has been searched for clues several times over the past few days.

He also offered new information about the positioning of the two bodies. He said one was located on the edge of the farm path after the path left a cotton field and entered a wooded area. The other body was discovered a short distance into the wooded area adjacent to the path.

Results of an autopsy performed Saturday in Greenville are pending. Early reports showed that Hobbs had lacerations to her neck and face while Bradley suffered wounds to her chest.

The sisters were last seen alive in Boykins, Va. at approximately 4:15 p.m. on Friday. There, they were seen dropping off a donation for Relay for Life at Boykins Baptist Church. The sheriff said the person who accepted the donation was an acquaintance of the two women.

According to Vaughan, the vehicle in which the two were traveling n a 1996 Ford Crown Victoria, black in color n was found at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Friday behind an abandoned residence near Boykins. A forensic investigation has been performed on that vehicle.

On Monday, a North Carolina Highway Patrol helicopter was called in to perform an aerial search for evidence.

Sgt. Will Liverman of the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office is in charge of the local investigation. The SBI along with the sheriff offices in Northampton County, Southampton County (Va.) and Greensville County (Va.), the Murfreesboro, Courtland (Va.) and Emporia police departments and the FBI 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) or the SBI (1-800-334-3000) as soon as possible.