Merry Hill couple murdered Tuesday

Published 6:42 pm Wednesday, June 1, 2016

MERRY HILL – The Bertie County Sheriff’s Office and the State Bureau of Investigation are investigating what is believe to be a double homicide that occurred near here after two bodies, a male and a female, were discovered on Tuesday.

The deaths marked the fifth homicides in the county since early April.

TV news media reports identify the victims as James Rouson, 63, and his 57-year-old wife, Anna. The couple was found deceased in their home, 335 Sutton Road, Tuesday afternoon after Rouson reportedly failed to show up for work.

This photo taken from Facebook shows James and Anna Rouson.

This photo taken from Facebook shows James and Anna Rouson.

Sutton Road was blocked by Sheriff’s personnel to all but local traffic until approximately 9 p.m. Tuesday evening.  After that time, an SBI agent at the home said his unit was called to the scene around 2 p.m. to begin their investigation.

TV news reports cited the cause of death has not been released, and the Bertie Sheriff says no arrests have been made.

Repeated calls made Wednesday by this newspaper to Bertie County Sheriff John Holley were not returned. However, there was a statement released late Wednesday morning through the office of the County Manager from the Bertie County Board of Commissioners:

“Late yesterday (Tuesday) we learned of another tragic loss of life in Bertie County, with a report of two deaths at a residence on Sutton Road. As one of the smallest counties in terms of population, criminal activity of this type is shocking for all of our residents.

“The Board of Commissioners wishes to extend its heartfelt sympathy to the families and friends of the deceased, and it is our collective hope that the responsible parties will be brought to justice as quickly as possible.

“We are aware of the demands these recent cases place on the Sheriff’s Office, and we are grateful to the State Bureau of Investigation for its assistance with the investigations.  Sheriff Holley and his officers are mindful of the need to bring resolution and justice for the families involved, and we will continue to support him in these ongoing efforts.

“Our prayers remain with the families who have suffered such unfortunate tragedy, and for the safety of our law enforcement officers and first responders.

“Given the ongoing investigations for these incidents, the Board of Commissioners will defer all official comment to the Sheriff’s Office.”