Deputies Investigate Possible Link Between Body Found, Missing Persons Report

3:33 AM, Mar 26, 2010   |    comments
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Greensboro, NC -- Guilford County Sheriff's deputies are investigating whether there may be a connection between a missing persons case and a body found on Thurston Avenue in Greensboro Wednesday afternoon.

Colonel Randy Powers with the Guilford County Sheriff's Office said Winfred Scott Simpson filed a missing persons report for his wife, Retha, on March 23. According to Powers, Winfred said he last saw his wife on March 19, after the two had a fight. 

A crime scene unit from the Sheriff's Office investigated the Simpon home on Stonypointe Drive in Guilford County Wednesday and Thursday.

On Wednesday, a worker at a nearby business found a woman's body on a trail along Buffalo Creek near the 3000 block of Thurston Ave in Greensboro.

Police are waiting for more information from the medical examiner's office on the cause of death, age, and race of the victim.

Capt. Janice Rogers with Greensboro Police told WFMY News 2 because of the suspicious nature of the death, the department is ruling it a homicide case.

Greensboro police are not saying there is any connection between the homicide case they're investigating and the Retha Simpson case.

Chip Williams, who recently started working at a company on Thurston Avenue, said he took a walk on his lunch break to enjoy the nice weather Wednesday. It was his first ever walk on the trail when he said he made the discovery.

"I saw a garbage bag with some charred remains and embers and a broken vase and I swear I saw a human leg sticking out of the bag," Williams said. "It was right next to the path, it was very close by, it's almost like somebody wanted it to be discovered."

Capt. Rogers declined to comment on the condition of the woman's body.

People who work near the trail said they're thinking about their safety.

"My coworkers have recommended that I never come back here again, which may be some good advice," Williams said Thursday.

"It just makes you want to watch your p's and q's, watch your step a little bit. Sometimes we think we're safe with the multiple businesses back here. A lot of us come in after hours and on the weekends sometimes. We're probably going to stop doing that now," said Jessica Welch, who works near the trail.

"I don't think our folks out there have any reason to feel like they're in harm's way. I do believe that this is probably an isolated event," Rogers said.

Rogers said by this time last year, the department had already recorded five homicides. She said violent crime is currently down across the board.

"We're doing something right," said Rogers. "We feel like maybe some of our crime suppression is working. We have a tactical street enforcement team that works very closely with us. We have different concepts that we've put into place to try to reduce crime."

Police were in the area again Thursday to look for clues.

If you have any information about this incident, you're asked to call Crimestoppers at 373-1000 or the Criminal Investigations Division at 373-2255.

WFMY News 2

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