Pet Duck solves the murder mystery by finding his grandmother’s body under the suspects’ trailer
A North Carolina couple have been arrested for murder after a pet duck led investigators to the decomposing remains of a missing 92-year-old grandmother, police said.
Mark Alan Barnes and Angela Lucille Wamsley were accused in the death of Nellie Lucille Sullivan, Wamsley’s grandmother, after a waterfowl found the elderly woman’s remains under the couple’s trailer in Candler, North Carolina – about 10 miles west of ‘Asheville.
According to the North Carolina News Station, a pet duck belonging to the new tenants currently occupying the couple’s former trailer ran under the mobile home, where a makeshift grave was found.
“Apparently the duck ran under the trailer at 11 Beady Eyed Lane and as they chased their pet duck they ran through the container that Nellie Sullivan was in,” the sergeant said. Mark Walker of the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office Told Asheville WLOS Television Station. “If I could give that duck a medal, I would.”
Walker described earlier search efforts to locate the 92-year-old as a “wild goose chase”.
An autopsy later confirmed the woman’s remains were Sullivan, according to the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office. His cause and manner of death were not immediately disclosed by authorities.
“Since this investigation began, we have sought to locate Ms. Sullivan’s remains, give her the respect she deserves and restore dignity to the life she lived,” said Angie Tullis, captain of the Criminal Investigation Division at the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office. , said in a statement on April 21.
The investigation dates back to December 2020, when county officials arrested Barnes and Wamsley for covering up Sullivan’s death. Investigators then accused Barnes of burying Sullivan in a “shallow grave”, searches of nearby land and search warrants served on various properties initially failed to locate the woman’s remains.
The neighbors, however, Told Exit from North Carolina WLOS that the elderly woman had actually been missing for years.
At the time of Sullivan’s disappearance, the couple were also charged with a range of felonies and misdemeanors, including animal cruelty, unlawful reconnection to a public utility, two counts of abandoning an animal, possession of a Schedule 3 controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a synthetic cannabinoid. Barnes was also slapped with an additional charge of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
In March, Barnes and Wamsley were additionally charged with four counts of fraud and forgery, possession of criminal conspiracy, transportation of criminal conspiracy and multiple heroin drug trafficking charges.
Sullivan’s friends had already been tormented for months after the elderly woman initially disappeared without a trace.
“It really bothers me,” neighbor Belinda Moody also said. Told WLOS in 2020. “I want to know what happened to him.”
Moody described Sullivan as a “sweet little old lady”.
“She would give you the clothes off her back if she could,” she added.
A spokesperson for the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office did not immediately respond to Oxygen.com questions surrounding the case when contacted on Monday.
The accused North Carolina couple are being held in a Buncombe County detention center, according to jail records online. Barnes and Wamsley’s bonds were set at $168,000 and $32,000, respectively.