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


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.

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“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.