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Mayor Of Small NC Town, Wife Found Dead At Home

crime scene tape
Ian Britton
Flickr/Creative Commons

North Carolina authorities said Friday that they have charged a man with murder in the shooting deaths of the mayor of a tiny town and his wife, who were found dead at their home.

Edgecombe County Sheriff Cleveland Atkinson said at a news conference that 25-year-old Keith Williams of Tarboro was being held on a first-degree murder charge. The sheriff said another person of interest in the case was in custody on unrelated charges.

A sheriff's spokesman did not immediately respond to an email asking if Williams has an attorney, and a phone listing for the suspect could not be found.

Leggett Town Commissioner Teresa Summerlin told multiple news outlets the couple killed was Mayor Gary Skelton and Jackie Dawn Skelton.

Atkinson told reporters that two people were found dead Thursday at the Skeltons' address with gunshot wounds. The sheriff's office previously said it wasn't releasing the names due to the family's wishes.

Summerlin says Jackie Skelton was an oncology nurse at an Edgecombe County hospital and didn't show up to work Thursday. Her co-workers requested a welfare check, which led to the discovery of the bodies.

Gary Skelton was a banker at BB&T in Rocky Mount until retirement. He was in his second term as mayor of town of 60 people that's about 70 miles (113 kilometers) east of Raleigh.

"I can't say enough good about them," Summerlin told the Charlotte Observer . "They were the epitome of good people ....It's devastating. It's nauseating. This community has lost two very special people."

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