Search for elderly woman’s remains leads to murder charges for NC couple

Investigators say husband and wife filled victim’s prescriptions after killing her
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 2:46 PM EDT
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CANDLER, N.C. (FOX Carolina) - A western North Carolina couple is charged with murder after investigators found the body of a woman they had been searching for last week.

The Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office identified the victim as Nellie Sullivan, whose remains were found at a home in Candler.

Deputies charged Sullivan’s granddaughter, Angela Wamsley and her husband, Mark Barnes with murder.

The sheriff’s office said they first started investigating the couple in December 2020 and charged them with animal cruelty and drug possession.

In January 2021, they were charged with concealing a death, although Sullivan’s remains had not yet been found. Investigators said the pair had been filling Sullivan’s prescriptions after her death.

“Since the beginning of this investigation we have sought to locate Ms. Sullivan’s remains, afford her the respect she deserved, and restore dignity to the life she once lived,” said Captain Angie Tullis. “We are dedicated to utilizing all available science, technology, and investigative skills necessary for justice to be served in this case.”

Wamsley and Barnes are also charged with fraud, trafficking heroin or opium and felony conspiracy.

They’re being held without bond in the Buncombe County Detention Center.