Investigation Continues Into Jewel Gurkin's Murder

The investigation into a Martin County woman's murder is still ongoing.

Albert Gurkin is accused of killing his wife, Jewel, earlier this month.

Her body was found behind the couple's home three days after she
was reported missing.

The district attorney's office says it will not decide what punishment to
seek until the investigation is complete.

There are two punishment options for first-degree murder: the death
penalty or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

A district court judge has refused bond for suspected killer Albert Gurkin.

Attorneys for the Martin County man made the request during a bond hearing this morning in Williamston.

District attorney Seth Edwards told the judge that Gurkin is a flight risk because he has a lot of cash at his disposal. The D.A. also says Gurkin could be a danger to a family member who he may have admitted the crime to.

Gurkin's sister and son spoke on his behalf.

A Martin County woman will be buried Wednesday while authorities are still determining exactly what degree of murder to charge her husband.

Services for Jewel Gurkin will be at 3:00 p.m. at the First Pentecostal Holiness Church in Williamston. Her burial will be at Woodlawn Cemetery.

Meanwhile, Albert Gurkin will be in a district courtroom again Wednesday morning, this time for a bond hearing.

Stay with WITN News and for more on what happens in that court hearing.

A decision could be made soon whether to change the open murder count against Albert Gurkin.

Gurkin is accused of killing and then burying his wife last week behind their Martin County home.

District attorney Seth Edwards told WITN News that he's reviewing the autopsy results. Edwards says he will decide whether to update charges now against Gurkin or simply make that change when they take it to the grand jury in August.

That autopsy, performed yesterday in Greenville, showed Jewel Gurkin died of strangulation and the medical examiner estimates the woman was killed early Thursday morning.

Autopsy Results Released

An autopsy says a missing Martin County woman was strangled to death.

The medical examiner's office in Greenville says Jewel Gurkin died early Thursday morning.

Gurkin's husband, Albert, made his first court appearance Monday morning in Williamston. Last week deputies said Gurkin told them he last saw his wife Wednesday night when he went to bed.

Albert Gurkin went before a district court judge and is still charged with an open count of murder. The judge ordered him held with no bond.

Gurkin is accused of killing his wife Jewel last week.

Martin County authorities found the woman's body buried a half mile behind the Gurkin home on Saturday.

Sheriff Dan Gibbs says an autopsy should help them to determine what degree of murder to charge the husband with.

Gurkin's next court date is June 10th.

Body Found

Martin County Sheriff Dan Gibbs confirmed Saturday the body of Jewel Gurkin was found a half mile behind Gurkin's home.

Sheriff Gibbs says Gurkin's husband, Albert Gurkin, is not being cooperative.

"He wouldn't tell us anything," said Sheriff Gibbs. Albert Gurkin was taken into custody Friday.

Gurkin's first court appearance is expected Monday in Martin County district court.

The sheriff said he is not aware of any domestic disturbance calls made to the household.

No cause of death has been released.

Previous Story:

An official says searchers have found the body of Jewel Gurkin, who was reported missing Thursday in Martin County.

Her husband is charged with her murder.

Searchers have been combing the woods behind and around the Gurkin home on Godard Town Road outside Bear Grass since Thursday.

Officials say the body was found in an area behind the home.

Previous Story:

Martin County Sheriff Dan Gibbs says the husband of a missing woman is now charged with murder. They still are searching for the body of Jewel Gurkin.

Albert Gurkin became a suspect in the case early this morning after Gibbs says they received additional information in the case. The sheriff would not say what that new information was or elaborate further.

The husband was seen leaving the scene in the back seat of a sheriff's patrol car around 11:30 Friday morning.

Friday afternoon a highway patrol helicopter returned to the location, and reportedly flying over property owned by the suspect in both Martin and Beaufort counties.

The 59-year-old woman was last seen Wednesday night by her husband. He told deputies he noticed her missing when he got up for work the next morning.

Relatives tell WITN News that they've been told by deputies that Gurkin has confessed to strangling his wife to death.

Martin County Sheriff Dan Gibbs confirms the husband of a missing woman is a suspect in the case and has been taken into custody.

Gibbs said, as of 10:20 a.m. Friday, Jewel Gurkin had not been found.

Gibbs said lawmen are searching an area behind the Gurkin's home on Godard Town Road, near Bear Grass, that they focused on yesterday.

He also said they have not questioned Albert Gurkin yet because Gurkin has requested an attorney. Gibbs said Gurkin was taken into custody at 3:30 a.m.

The 59-year-old Martin County woman was last seen Wednesday night and failed to show up for work Thursday. Family members said she had a job babysitting. Previously, Gurkin was a substitute teacher for the Martin County school system.

Family members say Gurkin's pocketbook, cell phone, glasses, and car remained at the home.

Original Story

A helicopter crew was called out Thursday to search for a missing woman in Martin County.

The missing woman is Jewel Gurkin. Officials say she is 59, white, about five feet tall and weighs 120 pounds.

Martin County deputies say she was last seen wearing tan shorts and a red tank top.

Authorities say Gurkin was last seen by her husband before he went to bed around 8:00 o'clock Wednesday night and missed her as he got up early for work Thursday morning.

Gurkin, who has been babysitting every morning for the past six months, did not show up for work on Thursday. That family got concerned and called Gurkin's daughter, who then called authorities.

Family members say Gurkin's pocketbook, cell phone, glasses, and car remain at home. Her granddaughter, Heather Mobley, fears the worst. "I think that someone has taken her and killed her. I mean, that's what I think."

Gurkin's long-time friend, Robin Rawls, says the unknown scares her the most. "It's just real hard on friends and family right now not knowing where she's at or what's happened or what's going on."

Sheriff Gibbs says they're investigating all possible avenues to this missing persons case.

You are asked to call the Martin County Sheriff's Office if you have any information.

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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by curious Location: gville on Sep 9, 2010 at 12:51 PM
    What is the latest with this case? I cannot find anything online past Aug. 2010. Is there news on another site that anyone knows of?
  • by former jville resident on Jul 25, 2010 at 06:25 PM
    God knows what he does, who he takes, and who he leaves. ;)
  • by Anonymous on Feb 17, 2010 at 08:51 PM
    What is the deal with this case. I heard he was set a bond so high he could not post it. Is that true. Why is it taking so long for them to bring a charge against him. I feel he will walk a way with a crime of passion, just what it is. People need to leave when asked. A woman should just leave get an attorney and take him for what she could have got. Don't put yourself in situations like this, common sense. Leave em if they don't want you,especially at this age mid life crisis could be to blame to not worth your life.
  • by Adam Location: nc on Feb 5, 2010 at 04:49 PM
    I am glad that NONE of you are on a jury. You obviously have no knowledge of justice system and it appears that you guys are citizens of this country. All I have heard here is re-hashing of gossip and 3rd/4th supositon. SHUT UP so this person can have a fair trial. Because if it isn't fair than the poor victim is FURTHER dishonored due to a tainted trial and possiblely justice will NEVER BE SERVED. And I would not want that on my conscience.
  • by concerned Location: nc on Jul 7, 2009 at 08:07 AM
    WITN:What's the latest on this case? Haven't heard any updates lately?
  • by Tad Location: Jamesville on Jun 25, 2009 at 09:32 AM
    family friend, you need to show some respect for others. If you don't want to say anything, don't. Others can say what they want even if you don't like it. You don't know what happened and there are many other people with different opinions of these people than the one you have. This is a terrible tragedy and it is a shame it came to something like this. There are lots of dynamics involved in this case and it is best left to a fair and impartial jury, far from here.
  • by family friend Location: nc on Jun 25, 2009 at 12:20 AM
    you people need to show some respect for the family of jewel gurkin. She was a wonderful lady and if you dont have anything nice to say then just dont say anything. Why add to the pain that her family is going through. This is a terrible tragedy and albert will pay for what he has done
  • by Tad Location: Jamesville on Jun 15, 2009 at 08:32 AM
    Hate to disappoint you Gurl, but this case will not be tried here and it will be a while. He could not get a fair trial here. The problem is, they will move the trial thirty to fifty miles. They should move the trial 200 to 300 miles.
  • by J'ville Gurl Location: Jamesville, NC on Jun 14, 2009 at 03:32 AM
    I really hope that they don't keep laying this case over. I think it needs to go straight to court as soon as possible. This has torn a family apart and the more it drags on the worse it will be on everyone. My prayers go out to the family and friends of Jewel, and also for our community.
  • by anonymous2 Location: south est. on Jun 4, 2009 at 05:39 PM
    i new him and he was very nice to me but he wont make it because he has money, land, he paid taxes and he aint black

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