Victim’s son says fight over money for house led to Pender murder-suicide

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Submitted: Thu, 07/25/2013 - 8:54pm
Updated: Fri, 07/26/2013 - 11:55am

ROCKY POINT, NC (WWAY) — A Pender County woman is dead, and so is the man investigators say killed her.

The call originally came in as a house fire, but when responders arrived to the home on Little Kelly Road in Rocky Point last night, they found the body of Myrle Carr inside.

“It looked like Christmas,” Carr’s son Jim Merritt said. “It was so lit up around here, and I knew then that she was likely gone.”

Merritt says his mother and her boyfriend Wilber Price Jr., bought the home last year and agreed to split the expenses in half. About a month ago, the money turned into a heated battle.

“My mother had put a lot of money into this place, and he had not,” Merritt said. “Money does funny things to people. It really does.”

Wednesday the dispute reached its boiling point. When crews responded to a fire here, they found Carr’s body inside ad realized the fire did not kill her.

Merritt says investigators told him a gunshot killed his mother instantly. He says being at the house Thursday was emotional.

“That was a huge shock to walk in,” he said. “I know where my mother’s body was found, and I can see where she was.”

With price on the move, deputies quickly learned he had ties to Virginia and warned law enforcement.

“We didn’t want him to carry this any further,” Pender County Sheriff Carson Smith said.

Just after midnight the Sheriff’s Office got a call from police in Hopewell, VA, saying Price had committed suicide in their parking lot.

A neighbor who did not want to go on camera says Price left a suicide note. Sheriff Smith would not comment, nor would the Hopewell Police Department.


  • Guest1987 says:

    Have no fear residents of Pender County the PCSO finest dectectives are on the case. If they can find the time to actually do police work and stop talking about coon hunting dogs then they will get is solved..

  • TravelingGuest says:

    Coon hunting is a new one, for me. I’ve been a professional visitor of the Sheriffs Department Detective Division for many years. I’ve witnessed them all sit around in a office and talk about bear hunting, pig hunting and and anyone who was not in the room at that particular moment. I’m not talking about the occasional ten minute “coffee break” every once in awhile, I’m talking about hours at a time on a regular basis. Since I was a visitor I did not feel comfortable saying ” hey guys if I could just get the information I dropped by for, you can go back to bad mouthing your higher up who you are saying sits in his office and plays video poker all day or how his higher up never comes to work on time or puts in a 40 hour week”. Instead of saying “you guys seem busy, I will come back later for this information” I have had to stand there and suffer through the endless pictures and stories of bear and wild pig hunting. I often wished that the supervisor would walk in so that everyone would start acting professional until I eventually learned that one of the guys always in the room WAS the division commander. Fortunately, I’ve not had to call upon the Pender County Sheriffs Department in a couple of months. That must be why I’ve missed the “coon” stories. But, thanks for the warning. I have a feeling that soon I will have to travel back in time and visit on them soon enough.

  • millie says:

    i knew wilbur well and found the story shocking he was a man of God not a killer.the police need to look into this i believe someone else killed them both and made it look like wilbur did it if this is looked into the truth will come out

  • Guestomfg says:

    Coon is a dog breed.

  • Troy says:

    Do they not run coon dogs around here? In indiana it is huge, they run the raccoons and tree them, and most of the time they dont even shoot them. I never got into it, if I’m chasing something at 3 in the morning I want something in the end.

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    “‘Coon hunting” is “Racoon hunting” A ‘coon is not a dog breed.
    Now that all of you are finished bitching about the LEOs, try discussing an old lady that just got murdered, ok?

  • Guestomfg says:

    COON IS a breed of dog. COONHOUND, scent dog. Think you know it all don’t cha?

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    …which is an abbreviation of Raccoon. Coonhounds were specially bred to hunt, tree and maintain the ‘coons in the tree until the hunter can arrive. Other hounds, i.e. foxhounds, would lose the scent once the coon left the ground and were ineffective.

  • Guestfrom the south says:

    Actually, a coon hound is a type of dog. Popular breeds serving as coon hounds include the Blue Tick, Black and Tan, and the Walker, among others.

  • GuestMan. says:

    Someone got killed and all you idiots can talk about are coondogs? This is almost the stupidest conversation on here ever.

  • Absolutely says:

    You hit the nail on the head. Hinkle plays solitaire after he’s done listening to the locals complain about his department and scratching lottery tickets in the Scotchman. This is way before he gets to work. All the while wearing his badge and driving his county truck to do this. The sheriff is aware of this and sits by and does NOTHING!! And his assistant, Annette is just as bad when she’s not facebooking on county time gossiping about her findings. You know this department very well. There should be a higher level of professionalism there. The same level expected of the rest of the staff.

  • Guestomfg says:

    You don’t come here often do you?

  • Guest2013 says:

    DO you even know the man you are discussing…Talk to his family, his ex business associates…screw it anybody that knew him knew what he was. I knew him a lot longer than you did. I know his background. Do not make this into a man hunt that does not need to be. The man never had alot of money..lies hatred and pure greed lead to this. Leave the families alone and do not make him into something he was not…to be honest look at his military record and then you will begin to understand the man he was..84 countries and 22 missions really…check his discharge records. Get a grip…what he was to you was not reality.

  • mike77 says:

    I knew pete (Wilber). how you can say he didn’t kill himself in a police parking lot is crazy. he was a known lier who claimed to be a doctor and a lawyer and several other things. he is now nothing more than a murder. he did this, get over it….

  • Patricia from Germany says:

    for your comment.

    his daugther

  • jean says:

    I think the investigator need to take another look at this murder with Myrle and Wilbur. The first question to ask is who stands to lose the most here?? Myrle’s family. Wilbur had no reason to kill Myrle she had already signed everything over in Wilbur’s name on 6-3-2013. He would have never burned the house he loved that house and he owned it. He also was in love with his self and would have never killed himself. Her son got very angry when he found out that she signed everything over to Wilbur. So I ask again who had the most to gain from Myrle being dead? Wilbur had spent over $38,000 into that house plus fixed it up. He would have never for any reason set it on fire. He would have never killed Myrle either not over $4400 in savings bonds. So someone needs to be suspecting someone else in the murder of Wilbur and Myrle.

  • Guest1948 says:

    What? No donuts and coffee tales? ;-)

  • Jim Merritt says:

    How can the people making comments on this page be so insensitive? My mother is dead! A grandmother is dead. A good friend to many people is dead. I was a first-hand witness to the work of the PC Sheriff’s Department, PC EMS and PC Fire Department. These men and woman are heroes in my eyes. Please, try and show some class here!

  • KrisC says:

    My sincere condolences to you. This death was needless, very shocking. Your mother looked like a nice person. To those who are so insensitive, learn some compassion.

  • Guest2020 says:

    My heart and prayers are with you and your family.

  • Rose Marie Whittingham says:

    Dearest Jim: I am sending my heart and my prayers to you and your family. Money can do strange things to people, and the greed is even worse. So sorry for your loss.

  • Brian Kontz says:

    The comments about coon dogs in a story about the murder of an innocent 73 year old woman should not be allowed to be included along with this story. Just imagine if it was your mother or sister. You are responsable for the content of your website. You disrespected the family by letting morons post such crap!! Shame On You!!

  • openminded says:

    To all of Myrle’s family I wish for the Lord to help you through this tragedy. I will pray you. Myrle was a dear friend of my mother before she passed away in 2005. I know she is welcoming her into heaven. She was the sweetest lady who of course didn’t deserve this. I knew her through my mother for quite a few years. I have one photo album where mother and her friends including Myrle were laughing and had such a wonderful time. I will remember her this way.

  • disappointed says:

    Show some respect! If you have a problem with the sheriff’s office here is not the place to vent. THIS WAS SOMEONE’S MOTHER THAT DIED A UNEXPECTED DEATH IN A WAY NO ONE SHOULD DIE! This breaks my heart! I hope I don’t know any of you!!!!!! To the family I am so very sorry I will keep all in my prayers!

  • confused??? says:

    That man was married to my husbands aunt. She lives here. I feel sorry for Myrle. I wonder if she knew he was married??? This is just crazy!!!!

  • Chrissie says:

    Look it doesn’t matter at all any more what kind of man Pete was he is now gone and so is Mrs Carr..also the police want look into it any more due to..(they believe that have there man). To be honest with all of yall Need to be respectful to both family cause they lost people they both Loved…I knew Pete and it hard to believe that this since less act happen. R.I.P Mrs.Carr and Wilber(Pete)Price

  • Wayno says:

    Myrle Carr was my Aunt. Her ex-husband of 35 years, John Carr, is my mother’s brother.

    We are all shocked and trying to make sense out of this tragedy.

    We would appreciate your prayers for guidance and wisdom, as we navigate these murky waters.

    Wayno Guerrini
    Tucson, Az

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