Sheriff releases details about gun used in French family murders

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. — The Rockingham County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday revealed additional information about the French family murders in Rockingham County.

Sheriff Sam Page said Douglas Troy French told his family in December 2011 his 9mm handgun was missing.

“The exact time frame of when the gun was taken from the home is unknown, Sheriff Page said in a news release.

Page confirmed on Tuesday deputies believe that gun was used to kill the 48-year-old man and his wife, 45-year-old Ladonna Mosley French.

The couple was killed on Feb. 4 by an alleged intruder at their home at 791 Pinewood Drive in Rockingham County.

Deputies said the gun used in the French family murders is identical to the one pictured above. However, this is not the actual murder weapon.

Page also said Tuesday DNA found at the scene is from a male. Deputies said they believe that male is the killer and hope the DNA will help them identify a suspect.

Officials said they used the DNA to rule out several people interviewed in the case including the French’s two children, their daughter’s boyfriend and all other family members.

Sheriff Page said as of Tuesday, the gun used in the murder has not been recovered. However, deputies said they believe the suspect is still “in the area” and he “may have changed his behavior patterns.”

Authorities said the couple’s 19-year-old daughter Whitley suffered non-life threatening injuries in the attack. The couple also has a younger son, but deputies said he was away at a swim meet at the time.

A suspect was reportedly seen fleeing the home and was described only as a man wearing dark clothing.

Sheriff Page said the homicide suspect may have been unaccounted for during the early morning hours of February 4, 2012. This was Super Bowl weekend.

The Rockingham County Sheriff’s office, the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation Behavioral Analysis Unit released other “identifiers” for the suspect:

        • The homicide suspect may have ties to the community.
        • People who know the homicide suspect may not believe that he is capable of committing this type of crime.The homicide suspect may not have a history of committing crimes of violence.
        • The homicide suspect would have been in possession of the High Point 9 mm pistol owned by the victim. He may have displayed this pistol to
          others prior to the double homicide.
        • The normal behavior of the person responsible for these murders may have changed right after the incident occurred.
        • The homicide suspect may have left the area, missed work or school, had a drastic change in his performance at work or school, displayed an
          unusual amount of interest in the case and/or may have increased or decreased his use of alcohol or drugs.
        • The homicide suspect may have had an unexplained injury or cut around the time of the murders.

Anyone with information about these homicides can call Rockingham County Crimestoppers at (336) 349-9683 or Sheriff Page at (336) 634-3239.