Room 156 at Sunshine Inn is secured Thursday as Rocky Mount police investigate a suspicious death at the motel.
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Telegram photo / Alan Campbell

Room 156 at Sunshine Inn is secured Thursday as Rocky Mount police investigate a suspicious death at the motel.

Police charge homeless couple in hotel homicide

By Brie Handgraaf

Staff Writer

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A homeless couple originally from Massachusetts was arrested Friday in connection with Rocky Mount’s fourth homicide of 2014.

William Richard Gingras, 34, and Natasha Maria North, 21, were charged with first-degree murder and common law robbery. Both were jailed in Nash County without bond.

Police said the couple preyed upon Larry Earl Armstrong, 40, of Nashville, who was staying at the Sunshine Inn on the 1600 block of North Wesleyan Boulevard. Hotel owner Hemant Patel called police around 10:30 a.m. Thursday when he discovered Armstrong unresponsive and tied up next to the bed.

“When (Armstrong) rented the room, he left $40 with us for safe keeping,” Patel said. “He came (Thursday) morning for it and I was sleeping so my wife gave it to him. That was the last time we heard from him.”

Authorities said Armstrong died at the scene and an autopsy to determine the cause of death is scheduled.

Investigators released a picture of Gingras taken from a nearby surveillance camera and detectives tirelessly investigated the case, eventually tracking the suspects to Weldon. Halifax County deputies, Weldon police and agents with the N.C. State Bureau of Investigations assisted in the successful capture of the suspected killers.

“Both suspects were traveling through Rocky Mount and are believed to have only been here since Easter weekend,” according to a press release.

Comments

great police work

Agreed. It's great to know we have such determined, dedicated and capable law enforcement officers protecting us and upholding the law.

Good Work !

I have got to salute the Rocky Mount Police Department on this case. They did a great job to have two suspects arrested in less then 48 hrs. Keep up the good work !

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