06/28/06 — Sheriff: Deaths murder-suicide

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Sheriff: Deaths murder-suicide

By Turner Walston
Published in News on June 28, 2006 1:57 PM

KENANSVILLE -- The deaths of a Duplin County husband and wife have been ruled a murder-suicide by county law enforcement officers.

Duplin County Sheriff Blake Wallace said Leamon Loftin, 74, apparently shot his wife, Alma Lucille Loftin, 68, before killing himself.

The couple's bodies were found in their home near Faison on Thursday after family members had been unable to reach them by telephone for several days.

Wallace said an investigation by the county medical examiner proved consistent with clues found by detectives at the scene.

"At this point, we have determined it to be a murder-suicide, with Mr. Loftin shooting Mrs. Loftin and then turning the gun on himself," Wallace said.

Wallace said the investigation would continue with the state Bureau of Investigation's crime lab working to confirm the findings.

The couple lived at 211 Caswell Moore Lane, near the Bowdens community of northeastern Duplin, about four miles south of Faison. The bodies were discovered by a neighbor who had gone to check on the couple.

The Loftins were retired school teachers who had moved back to the Duplin area in recent years.