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Pittsboro murder victim found with scissors in neck, autopsy says

PITTSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) - A 54-year-old woman found dead in her Pittsboro apartment last year was found with a pair of scissors in her neck, according to autopsy report.

Donna Todd's body was already decomposing by the time police, called in by a concerned caretaker, found her on April 11, 2017, authorities said. The 54-year-old's death was on the second homicide in Pittsboro in 15 years. She was killed by blunt-force trauma, Pittsboro Police Chief Percy T. Crutchfield said.

EARLIER: Pittsboro police investigate town's second homicide in 15 years

Todd had a pair of scissors still stuck in the back of her neck when her body was found, the report says.

She had been stabbed at least seven times and cut more than five times to the head, neck, and upper back.

Todd also suffered two broken ribs. The autopsy said she died from "multiple sharp and blunt force injuries."

Willie Henderson Womble, 64, lived near Todd in a Creekside Drive apartment complex at the time, Crutchfield said. Forensic evidence linked him to the scene, according to authorities.

Now a Greensboro resident, he was arrested at home Wednesday by the State Bureau of Investigation and the Greensboro Police Department, authorities said.

Police say he was Todd's neighbor at the time. Todd's daughter, Brooke Hope, is thankful for an arrested.

"I was really hopeful," she said. "You know closure isn't something that me and my family often get to experience."

Hope was worried this day wouldn't come. She says her sister has been missing since 2006, and feared the case of her mother's death wouldn't get solved either.

In a small town of about 4,500 people, Todd's murder was the second in 15 years.

"It feels crazy that it happened to somebody I know," Hope said. "My mom was, she would cook anything for you, she would give you the shirt off her back, she would talk to you for hours."

"It was a sigh of relieve because anytime you have a murder in a small town like Pittsboro, and you know the suspect is out there amongst us, you worry for the safety of your community," said Pittsboro police chief Percy Crutchfield.

Officials confirmed that Womble is the same Willie Womble who was convicted in July 1976 of having murdered a store clerk, but exonerated in 2014 after an investigation by the North Carolina Innocence Inquiry Commission.

Womble has been charged with first-degree murder and is being held in the Guilford County Detention Center, police said.

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