01/22/10 — Couple found dead in trailer

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Couple found dead in trailer

By Nick Hiltunen
Published in News on January 22, 2010 1:46 PM

FOUR OAKS -- A Johnston County couple in their 60s were found dead in their Hollow Oak Drive home on Thursday morning, victims of an apparent double homicide.

A small fire set at the home of Sue Ann and L.C. Beasley that caused little damage is also being investigated by Johnston County Sheriff's Office detective and the State Bureau of Investigation, Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Tammy Amaon said.

Johnston deputies were first alerted to the murders and fire after a 10 a.m. 911 call from the couple's nephew, Danny Beasley, Mrs. Amaon said.

Danny Beasley had approached the residence and could not get anyone to come to the front door on Thursday morning, detectives reported.

"He was there at the residence and could see some visible signs of smoke on the windows, and could tell that there had been a fire.

"He made entry, and saw his aunt on the floor, and he immediately got out of the house," Mrs. Amaon said.

Firefighters arrived on scene and confirmed that Mrs. Beasley, 65, was deceased. Her body was found on the kitchen floor, detectives reported.

As authorities investigated further, a blue work shed was searched. L.C. Beasley, 66, was found dead inside, Mrs. Amaon said.

The Sheriff's Office spokeswoman said neither a possible motive nor the cause of death had been released by authorities.

The spokeswoman said she was not sure if the couple's bodies had been sent to Chapel Hill for autopsy, and also said no information about a possible murder weapon had yet been released.

Mrs. Amaon said a team of detectives, including Capt. Buck Pipkin of the Johnston County Sheriff's Office Investigations Division, was working the case.

The fire was described as small, but a point of ignition or a possible cause of the blaze also had not been released.

The spokeswoman said more information about the fire would probably be available later today.

"I don't think (the fire) was very big at all, because there wasn't anything left to put out when the fire department got there," Mrs. Amaon said. "The fire marshal was there last night, and they were going to do their investigation, along with the SBI."

As detectives talked with the family, detectives discovered that a 2006 Chevrolet truck belonging to L.C. Beasley was also missing.

Authorities first told reporters that the Sheriff's Office was searching for the truck, but further investigation revealed the vehicle had been found about nine hours before the first emergency call, around 1 a.m. on Thursday.

"The night before, at the 1000 block of Raleigh Road, the Highway Patrol had found his truck in a ditch and had it towed," Mrs. Amaon said.

Raleigh Road is off of N.C. 210, not far from West Johnston High School.

Johnston County detectives were performing "num-erous interviews" around the neighborhood, where a number of the couple's relatives also live, Mrs. Amaon said.