WINDSOR, N.C. (WNCT) – A county in the east is on edge after multiple homicides over the past week. The most recent murder happening Sunday night.
The Bertie County Sheriff’s Office is looking for Mckenzie Watford who is wanted for the murder of his father Tony Watford. He’s believed to be armed and dangerous.
Sheriff Tyrone Ruffin said there have been four homicides since February. Three of those taking place just in the last week at the victims’ own homes. Sheriff Ruffin added that right now there’s a cloud over Bertie County, but the sun will soon come back. He said it just takes working together during this time.
The victims of multiple recent homicides range in age from 33 to 88 years old. During a news conference Monday, Sheriff Ruffins told the community that now is the time to take a stand and work together.
“Our organization at the sheriff’s office alone cannot do this. it will take everyone to make our community and our county safer,” said Sheriff Ruffin.
During the news conference, local ministers also prayed over the county, community and law enforcement.
Sheriff Ruffin said his office as well as the State Bureau of Investigation are still actively investigating the murders of 68-year-old Ricky Gilliam and 33-year-old Horace Lassiter.
“Now each one of these violent crimes has made a heavy impact on our county and our community. And these cases have been unpredictable but if and when these cases come, we will work hard to bring the right person to justice and bring closure to the families,” said Sheriff Ruffin.
Sheriff Ruffin added he spoke with U.S Marshalls and they are on standby to assist in any way they can. He also reassured citizens of Bertie County during this rise in crime.
“There is nothing about any of these cases that reflect to say that the elderly citizens of this county is being targeted.”
Sheriff Ruffin is calling on assistance from the public in the ongoing murder investigations of Gilliam and Lassiter, and in the search for Mckenzie Watford.
If you have any information, call the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office (252) 794-5330.