Reward increases to #036;12,000

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 26, 2006

MURFREESBORO – As leads continue to develop in the murders of two Emporia, Va. sisters, the reward is climbing in an effort to gain additional information.

Yesterday (Friday), Hertford County Sheriff Juan Vaughan said a $12,000 reward is currently being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the deaths of Dorothy Hobbs, 74, and her 71-year-old sister Nellie Bradley. Their bodies were discovered at 7:38 p.m. on Aug. 4 along a farm path north of Murfreesboro off the Vaughan’s Creek Road.

The reward money is coming from the state of North Carolina, the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office and private donations.

While Sheriff Vaughan remains guarded over releasing specific information about the murders, he said that several new leads have produced results.

“It’s a tedious process, but we do have several pieces of the puzzle,” Vaughan said. “We still need the help of our local citizens. If anyone remembers seeing anything, no matter how small or trivial they think it is, please call us with that information. It may turn out to be the one piece of the puzzle that brings it all together.”

Last week, Sheriff Vaughan said items of interest had been discovered relating to the case. The sheriff would not say what the items were or where they were found.

However, law enforcement officers from the Hertford and Northampton sheriff’s offices have been concentrating their efforts in and around the Vaughan’s Creek Road area. That road runs in both counties and is also a popular shortcut route, connecting with Highway 35, used by motorists from North Carolina and Virginia.

The sisters were last seen alive at approximately 4:15 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 4 as they were making a donation to Relay for Life at Boykins (Va.) Baptist Church. Boykins is located three miles north of the state line on Highway 35.

On Aug. 11, Hertford County lawmen solicited information and handed out flyers during a traffic stop at the intersection of Vaughan’s Creek Road and Vaughan’s Mill Road between the hours of 4-7:30 p.m. Simultaneously, Northampton and Hertford authorities were seeking information at a traffic stop performed at the Northampton County end of Vaughan’s Creek Road at its intersection with Highway 35 just north of Severn.

Those with information concerning the whereabouts of the two women between the time they were last seen at the Boykins church up until the time prior to their bodies being found are urged to contact the Hertford County Sheriff’s Office (252-358-7841), the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office (757-653-2100) or the SBI (1-800-334-3000). This information can include someone seeing the vehicle in which the two were traveling n a 1996 Ford Crown Victoria, black in color n that perhaps was being operated along Highway 35 (in either Virginia or North Carolina), the Vaughan’s Creek Road or the Vaughan’s Mill Road.

That vehicle was found at approximately 11:30 p.m. on Aug. 4 behind an abandoned residence near Boykins. A forensic investigation was performed on the vehicle.

The information can also include “items of interest” that may turn up in the Vaughan’s Creek Road area. Sheriff Vaughan urged those living in that area to keep a sharp eye out for anything that appears out of the ordinary.