‘It was one of the worst scenes I have seen in a long time’


Michael Gellatly - [email protected] - T.C. Hunter - [email protected]



LUMBERTON — Lumberton police are investigating after two decomposing bodies were found in East Lumberton on Tuesday in a scene that was described as grisly by a veteran investigator.

The identities of the deceased were not available, as were few details, but the deaths are being called “suspicious” in information provided by police Capt. Terry Parker.

Police responded after receiving a call about a body inside a home at 505 Peachtree St. As the investigation continued, a crowd gathered and The Robesonian was told by multiple people that a bystander opened a trash can at 702 E. Fifth St. and found the second body.

The bodies were sent to the state Medical Examiner’s Office for autopsies. Although no information was provided locally on the sex of the two deceased, a television station reported that an official with the Medical Examiner’s Office referred to them as being females.

Bystanders told a reporter on the scene that the Peachtree Street address is an abandoned home that is frequented almost daily by people using drugs and having sex with prostitutes.

Erich Hackney, an investigator with the District Attorney’s Office, assisted Lumberton police and agents with the State Bureau of Investigation.

“It was one of the worst scenes I have seen in a long time, and perhaps the worst I have ever seen,” Hackney said.

Hackney did not want to give further details, deferring to Lumberton police.

Parker said Tuesday afternoon he was not authorized to release any additional information that day.

“Hopefully tomorrow when the autopsies are done we will have a lot more information,” Parker said.

Law enforcement personnel on the scene, who had taped off a city block encompassed by Fifth, Willow, Peachtree and East Sixth streets, weren’t saying anything to the news media. But spectators were passing rumors and information learned on social media among themselves.

“I heard that they found the girl right there in the trash can,” said Michelle Jacobs, a Barnes Street resident, pointing to spot about 15 yards beyond Fifth and North Willow streets.

“There wasn’t supposed to be anybody in that house,” Mickie Jones said. “It was abandoned.”

Jones lives on North Willow Street, about 75 yards from the Peachtree Street house.

As 4 p.m. neared there were more spectators standing beyond the crime scene tape than law enforcement and emergency personnel inside the tape. Four television stations had cameras and on-air personalities at the scene and one news helicopter was hovering above the scene.

The Robesonian will update this story on robesonian.com as information warrants.

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Michael Gellatly

[email protected]

T.C. Hunter

[email protected]

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