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Elderly victims viciously attacked, killed in random home invasion identified; $9K REWARD offered for information

The quadruple murder of a pair of elderly couples has rocked rural Halifax County, North Carolina.

James Whitley (pictured left), 76, and his 67-year-old wife Peggy Whitley (pictured right) were visiting James Harris, 88, and wife Janice Harris at their home on Fishing Creek Road Monday night when they were killed. Halifax County sheriff Wes Tripp told WITN that the victims appeared to be playing cards at the time.

Raleigh’s ABC affiliate reported the crime apparently hit close to home for Sheriff Tripp. He knew two victims “personally,” he said.

 “In my 33 years of law enforcement, this is my first quadruple murder.”

The sheriff indicated the home invasion occurred sometime between Sunday night and Monday morning. He also said investigators found “indications a robbery did take place.”

Local media reported the victims—all long-time members of the community—were discovered after a concerned relative went to check on them.

Late Tuesday, the Associated Press quoted a statement from Sheriff Tripp in which he said police had “taken a major turn in our investigation.” He gave no further details.

“I don’t think they just drove by and randomly kicked the door in and said hey let’s see what’s here. They probably had a good idea of what was in there,” Matt Cousins, who knew the couples, told the AP.

Sheriff Tripp warned local residents to remain aware of what was going on around them and to report any unusual activity.

Currently there is a $9,000 reward for information resulting in an arrest.

[Feature Photo: Facebook]