4 elderly friends playing cards killed in apparent home invasion

Wednesday, August 23, 2017
Halifax County authorities identify quadruple murder victims, reward being offered
Halifax County authorities identify quadruple murder victims, reward being offered

HALIFAX COUNTY, North Carolina -- The Halifax County Sheriff's Office says four people, ages 67 to 88-years-old, have been killed in a home invasion along Fishing Creek Road in the Glenview community.

Halifax County Sheriff Wes Tripp said Monday that a family member found the bodies after checking on the home in the Glenview community, just off Interstate 95 north of Rocky Mount.

The sheriff said two residents of the home and two visitors had been sitting around a kitchen table when they died.

Authorities identified the homeowners Tuesday morning as 72-year-old Janice Harris and 88-year-old James Harris, as well as their visitors, 76-year-old James Whitley and 67-year-old Peggy Whitley.

James Whitley and Peggy Whitley

The sheriff did say two of the victims were close friends of his.

"I knew two of these people personally," Tripp said. "In my 33 years of law enforcement, this is my first quadruple murder."

"We do have indications a robbery did take place," Tripp said.

The victims were longtime county residents.

"All four victims were members of this community and well-known, and well thought of," Tripp said. "You put your emotions aside and you work the case."

The sheriff says the home was invaded sometime between Sunday and Monday morning, and some items are missing, but there were no signs of a struggle.

The sheriff said the four victims appeared to have been playing cards at the time.

Tripp said investigators have gotten some leads from talks with people in the neighborhood. There is no suspect information.

Authorities are urging motorists in the area to stop driving past the crime scene.

A $7,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the individual(s) responsible for the quadruple homicide.

Anyone with information is urged to call Halifax County Sheriff's Office at (252) 583-8201, CrimeStoppers at (252) 583-4444, or SBI at (919) 779-8188.

Authorities say all information will remain anonymous.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.