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NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — New Hanover County Sheriff’s detectives continue investigating after three people were found dead at a home on Meadowlark Lane Friday.

Investigators say right now, evidence reveals that the crime appears to be a murder-suicide. They say further information will be released once the autopsies are completed on today.

Investigators say the bodies of Darrell Simpson, 79, Linda Simpson, 79, and Steven Heald, 59, were found in a home in the 7700 block of Meadowlark Lane. They say the call came in as a welfare check, but when deputies got to the house, they found three people dead inside.

Plantation Village, where the scene unfolded, is a gated retirement community. Folks who live there say the area is usually very peaceful.

“It is really quiet around here,” Levin Lakes said. “Nobody ever bothers anybody.”

That quiet atmosphere of the community changed Friday afternoon.

“I was very concerned, I still am,” Lakes said.

But the Sheriff says there is no need for anyone to worry.

“There is no threat to the community,” New Hanover County Sheriff Ed McMahon said. “At this point, we are not looking for anyone.”

Investigators say the crime happened inside the home, but that address has not yet been released.

“This was all contained within this one residence,” said Sheriff McMahon.

Neighbors we talked to said the people who live there kept to themselves.

“My understanding is that they knew very few people and did not participate much in the activities of this community,” Lakes said.

While the community is still on edge, some have found a bit of comfort.

“The fact that we have been informed by the management of this place that everything is under control and we need to not worry, I’m sure has calmed out concerns,” Lakes said.

Now, investigators await the results from the autopsy to help determine exactly what happened.

Comment on this Story

  • Wilmington Observer

    Lately, I’ve been amazed at subsects of our country demanding (or in this case, asking) for consideration of their beliefs while being inconsiderate of the beliefs of others.

    If you do not believe in the Christian beliefs of the poster, fine. You have the right to say so. But to, in the same sentence, demand the poster censor his speech so that it does offend you is, in itself, offensive and hypocritical.

    Wilmington Observer

  • Christian

    As for the end times- ady to God can be Centuries- End times- puh-leaze. Stop fretting and if you ask me-if an asteroid hits the earth and everyone is obliterated, what good is fretting over end times? Also, what if you believe in other things than Christianity? Be considerate of others before you get up on your salt box. My thoughts and condolences to all involved.

  • keysha

    Prayers to the family & GLAD IT WASNT ANY foul play involved….. Curious to know were the 3 family that were killed inside the home together?

  • Solver

    Did you report it? Too many sit around and complain about what they see, but don’t ever do anything about it!

  • Guest-o-matic

    Try I-95 N or I-40 W. You can cruise to “find your safety” at 75 mph all day long. Good luck though. In this changing world where the revolving door of the courtrooms release violent felons everyday, no town is immune to violence anymore. Best thing you can do is to learn to protect yourself.

    Now, getting back to the point of the article, my prayers are out for the families of these elderly victims.

  • Texas Dan

    Did you show them yours in return? Or are you too timid to stand up for yourself or even own a weapon? I hear a lot of long time natives complain about how bad Wilmington has become. The reality is that the whole country is in decline. Wlmington is an improvement compared to where we moved from, so if you are not happy here, leave. We did not like they way our hometown was in decline and our efforts to vote for improvements were futile, so we left for greener pastures. Vote with your feet or keep your complaints to yourself.

  • shann

    satan is on the rampage trying to take as many people with him as possible he knows his time is running out our lord is coming back for his people soon then will destroy evil and make a new heaven and earth I know I will probley get bad responses to my comment but I do not pay attention the world better wake up before its too late the bible teaches that in the end times children will kill their own parents and mothers killing their own children your proof is on the news every day if you dont believe in the bible I pray for you to open your eyes jesus is coming back if you are ready or not I will always speak up for my god I wont hold back god bless you all hope to see you in heaven

  • guest111

    Maybe one of those who were dead in the house was the killer and then killed himself. Don’t be so quick to jump to conclusions.

  • tigercat

    I have a feeling this was a double murder and one suicide so no one will be charged for it and no reason for neighbors to worry

  • Guest X

    your safe,I hope we are safer than the three people in this house. Wilmington has turned into a collection of thugs,wannabe gangsters,white trash and some of the rudest and most stupid people I have come across.48 yrs in my hometown,never thought I would be so happy to be leaving it.The last straw was when I was sitting at a stoplight and 3 thugs pull up and proceed to cuss me while showing me the all had guns.

  • Angelica

    when will we know the names of the deceased?

  • Guest2020

    Prayers for the family. Also praying that they are able to get justice.

  • Sidewash

    Until we are told it was a ‘magic bean’ that caused this we are only speculating, let’s wait for more scoop. It’s not racial, religious or a 2nd Ammenent jumping point. Let’s wait and see.


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