07/21/05 — Two fire deaths now being called murder

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Two fire deaths now being called murder

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on July 21, 2005 1:51 PM

The death of two people in a Saturday fire in Goldsboro is being investigated by authorities as murder, officials said today.

Noelle Talley, the public information officer for the Attorney General's Office, today confirmed the blaze has become a double-murder investigation.

The victims, Roy Chester Rowe, 48, and Patricia Raynor, 38, died Saturday in an apartment building at 206 N. George St.

Ms. Talley declined comment on other details or methods of the investigation. But she said the investigation would be completed as quickly as possible without sacrificing thoroughness.

Police Maj. Jay Memmelaar, who heads the investigations division of the Goldsboro police department, said today that Saturday's fire was being investigated as arson.

No one has been arrested in the case.

SBI Assistant Special in Charge John Rea said four other people lived in the building located next to a fast-food restaurant. The other residents of the building, which had been converted into apartments, were not injured.

The 87-year-old building had been divided into four apartments, each with a kitchen and a bathroom. Two apartments were on each floor. The center stairwell had been closed off.

The building remained cordoned off today with yellow evidence tape. Rea had said parts of the home were remained unstable and could collapse. Investigators had gotten on the second floor but not to a closet where, he said, the fire had started.

Fire Chief Bobby Greenfield said today that his department had turned over the investigation to police and the State Bureau of Investigation.