Edgecombe County mayor, wife found dead on property; suspects in custody

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Two people were found dead on Thursday afternoon on the property of a home in Leggett, the Edgecombe County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.

UPDATE: 25-year-old charged with killing Leggett mayor and wife

A town council member confirmed to CBS 17’s Amy Cutler that it is Leggett Mayor Gary Skelton and his wife Jackie that are dead. 

“It blew me away. It immediately made me nauseous,” said Leggett town commissioner Teresa Summerlin. “The nicest couple. Gary just got back this weekend from going and babysitting his grandchild, who has a broken bone.”

News spread fast in the small Edgecombe County town. 

“It blew my mind, for one thing. This is somewhat a quiet area that we live in,” said neighbor Sherry Kenney.

The home belongs to Skelton, per official records and neighbors.

Officials said deputies responded to the home around 1 p.m. for a welfare check to see if someone was missing.

Summerlin said she was concerned when Jackie Skelton didn’t show up for work Thursday morning. She tried to call Gary Skelton, but didn’t get an answer. 

Summerlin said the Skeltons were last seen Wednesday night when they went out to dinner with another couple. 

“They would have given them the shirt off their back,” Summerlin said. “For this to happen in this small a community. The work that man has done for this community. People just don’t realize he has invested so many man hours.”

Deputies took two suspects into custody and no one else is believed to be in danger, per the release.

The sheriff’s office expects to provide further information on Friday.

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