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Woman charged with murder after pet duck leads police to body of her missing grandmother

Officials announced that a duck owned by a woman was used to help the US police solve the case of her grandmother missing in North Carolina.

Nellie Sullivan, who would have been 93 years old if she were still living, vanished sometime in 2020.

Since then, investigators have searched for Ms. Sullivan without success.

The case was finally solved when the owners of a pet duck found a container containing the body of the grandmother under a trailer in Candler on April 14.

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Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office confirmed that the report was sent to Sky News affiliate NBC News.

Angela Wamsley (46), and Mark Alan Barnes (50), were both charged with first-degree murder in the death of Ms. Sullivan.

Although police don’t have a date for Ms. Sullivan’s death, they believe that she was dead for some time.

North Carolina: More

Aaron Sarver, Buncombe County Sheriff’s Officer spokesperson, stated that the suspects were being investigated in connection with her death since December 2020.

Initial charges of animal cruelty and drug possession led to their arrest.

The sheriff’s office stated that Barnes and Wamsley had been indicted for concealing a death by December 2021.

Image: Mark Alan Barnes faces the same charges. Pic: Buncombe Sheriff’s Office

Sergeant Mark Walker from Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office stated: “Apparently, the duck ran under the trailer at 11, Beady Eyed Lane and, as they chased after their pet ducks, they came across the container in which Nellie Sullivan was found.

“If I could award that duck a medal, it would be my wish.”

Police stated that they believe Ms. Sullivan was murdered at another location, before she was brought to the area where her remains were found.

Police said that officers attended the post-mortem, “made personal observations and spoke with staff”, and determined probable cause for warrants for first-degree murder.

After their independent investigation is complete, the medical examiner’s office will release the official cause of death.

Officials said that Barnes and Wamsley were filling Ms. Sullivan’s prescriptions and collecting her social security and retirement benefits cheques.

According to court records, their next court date is scheduled for 13 May. It is unclear if they have entered pleas.

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