Homicides in Farmville and Ayden were among seven investigated by Pitt County law enforcement in 2020, a slight drop from the previous year, according to official records. Greenville officials investigated 13 killings in 2020.
The Pitt County Sheriff’s Office investigated five deaths, the Ayden Police Department investigated at least one, and the Farmville Police Department investigated one homicide in 2020, according to reports. There were nine county homicides in 2019.
Sheriff’s deputies investigated two homicides in the Farmville area, including the Oct. 6 shooting death of 13-year-old Elijah Lonell Williams. Williams was killed just before 2 p.m. with a shotgun at a residence at 3928 Cobb Dail Road east of town.
He was transported to Vidant Medical Center where he died from his injuries. One juvenile was referred to the N.C. Department of Juvenile Justice with an open count of murder. Other juveniles were referred to Juvenile Justice with charges related to the shooting as well as other crimes.
Deputies also investigated the Sept. 20 death of Charly Warters Vebber, 34, who was shot on her back deck at 2465 Askew Road east of town. Kevin Paul Vebber, 38, of Greenville shot his wife in the head at least three times in front of their 14-year-old daughter when he was returning her home from a weekend visit. Vebber was charged with one count of first-degree murder.
The Farmville Police Department was called to investigate the June 6 death of Justin Rudd, 28, of Farmville. Rudd was driving on Marlboro Road when shots fired into his car killed him at 4:05 a.m. It is unclear if the shooting was targeted. No charges have been filed. The investigation is ongoing.
The Ayden Police Department is continuing to investigate the Oct. 3 death of Anthony Harper, 56, who was shot and killed in his driveway at 4335 Martin Luther King Jr. St. at 5:10 p.m. No arrests have been reported and the department did not respond to multiple requests for updates.
The sheriff’s office also investigated homicides involving a 17-year-old boy in Grimesland on Feb. 15, an 18-month-old girl outside Greenville in September, and murder-suicide involving a man and his girlfriend outside Greenville in March.
A 27-year-old Farmville man also was charged in one of 13 homicides investigated in 2020 by the Greenville Police Department. James Lee Freeman Jr., 27, of 430 Hines St., Farmville, was charged with first-degree murder in the death of Dwanye Wiggins, 29. Wiggins was shot and killed at 1:10 a.m. on Jan. 24 at the Citgo at 500 S. Memorial Drive.