2 Murder Cold Cases Re-Opened in Iredell Co.
STATESVILLE, N.C. - The headlines rocked Iredell County in 1975. A 15-year-old girl shot dead on a remote dirt road. She had been at the county fair earlier that Saturday night. Her friend was with her, had also been shot - and raped - but survived.
The description of the suspect that ran in the paper: simply, "a black man." Two weeks later, an unknown black man's body was found bound, beaten and burned, also, on the side of a road.
Major Darren Campbell with the Iredell County Sheriff's Office says, "There's a high probability that if we're able to identify this (man), that it will aide us in the investigation of the 15-year-old."
Whoever killed "John Doe," imaged now in a new, FBI enhanced sketch, may have thought they were dispatching renegade justice for the murder of the 15-year-old. But Campbell says there is no evidence he had any part in the girl's murder. In fact, investigators say a sketch of the killer based on the surviving teen's description doesn't resemble Doe.
Campbell also has DNA evidence from the girl's case, the first time the Sheriff's Office has collected it from a 37-year-old investigation. He says, "The SBI does have a sample that we did recover from the scene of the murder of the 15-year-old girl and we are waiting for an update on that."
While Campbell waits, he is hoping someone recognizes Doe. He was 25 to 35 years old when he died and Campbell says, "He had extensive dental work," the type commonly done in the military.
Campbell's put in hundreds of hours on these cold cases. But it doesn't compare to the 37 years the families of this unidentified man and this teen girl have waited for closure. He says, "I don't think time heals everything."
We called the SBI Tuesday to get an update on that DNA sample. No one answered the phone and there was no way to leave a message. If you have any information about these cases, call the Iredell County Sheriff's Office at (704)878-3180. You can also email Maj. Darren Campbell at email@example.com or Capt. Andy Poteat at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can remain anonymous.