Convicted rapist charged with killing missing Kenly woman

Johnston County News
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KENLY, N.C. (WNCN) – A registered sex offender has been arrested and charged with the murder of a missing 71-year-old Johnston County woman, the sheriff’s office confirmed. 

Kenneth Wayne Lamm, 50, of Wilson, is charged with killing Kathy Thomas, who the sheriff’s office said was last known to be at her Kenly home on or around Nov. 23

In a Wednesday afternoon press release, the sheriff’s office said it considered Thomas’ disappearance “suspicious.”

Lamm was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder, the sheriff’s office said.

Thomas’ body was found in a shallow grave on property at 717 Harper Street East.

In 1994, Lamm was convicted of second-degree rape and two counts second-degree sex offense in Wake County, according to the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry. 

He served 18 years and was released April 1, 2012. 

He registered a Wilson address on Althorp Drive two days after his release.

Althorp Drive is just northwest of Wilson, approximately five miles from Harper Street – which sits on the eastern edge of Wilson proper.

Lamm appeared in court Thursday morning. He is being held without bond and his next court appearance is set for Jan. 3, 2019.

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