UPDATED: Authorities Say Murdered Woman Had Been There For A While

We have new details about how long authorities believe Cynthia Knighten's body had been in her home before deputies found her Tuesday night.

Detectives now saw they believe Knighten had been dead 12 to 16 hours before she was found.

They also say she may have been trying to break up with her boyfriend Clarence Phillips and that was a probable motive.

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Police say the woman found dead in New Bern Tuesday night was the girlfriend of the gunman who killed a Lenoir County deputy and shot another deputy.

Craven County authorities found the body of Cynthia Knighten Tuesday night around 10:30. They say they found her on the bedroom floor at her Frank Avenue home just north of Bridgeton.

Lawmen say her boyfriend, 43-year-old Clarence Phillips, is the lead suspect in her death and the Lenoir County shooting.

An autopsy shows the woman died from blunt force trauma to the head.

The family of Cindi Tillet Knighten has issued a statement on her death and the death of Detective Allen Pearson.

"My name is Kevin Tillett, this was my sister that was shot and killed yesterday.While we are grieving our loss of a sister and a daughter.We the family would like to extend our condolences to the family of the slain officer,and to offer our prayers for the police officer that was wounded.We also want to thank them for doing their job.We have all lost in this senseless tragedy.May god bless each and everyone in this time of great sorrow."

The 49-year-old Knighten is survived by her mother and father, two older sisters and a younger brother.

Knighten was a MRI technician at Onslow Memorial Hospital from 1996 until this past February.

Neighbors say they are shocked at what happened in their town.

"It's terrible for anybody to get shot like that, especially around the corner," said Fred Thompson, a neighbor. "It seems like it's awful close to home, and I don't want it to happen to anybody. This is a very quiet neighborhood right here."

Other neighbors we talked to said they feared something bad would happen when Phillips moved into Knighten's home, because they heard Phillips had a violent past.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by john doe Location: highway on Aug 10, 2009 at 10:12 PM
    what about joe does anyone feel bad for him i sure do maybe carma is real!!!!!!!!
  • by Hoi-toider Location: Wanchese on May 1, 2009 at 09:15 AM
    Perhaps Cindi's death will serve to warn someone else about crazy people.... When they are crazy and violent, sooner or later they will be violent towards you! Some people are crazy and collect dust bunnies, others collect your life's blood.. My sincerest sympathy for Jack and Lydia, Laura, Mike, Jacqueline and Andrea. May God bless you all.
  • by Elizabeth Location: Greenville, NC on Apr 14, 2009 at 10:39 PM
    While this is a senseless tragedy that we will never know the answers to, I have to praise the Tillett family. They were eloquent, gracious and forgiving in their statements to the public. There are no winners, no losers in this situation. We have two lives that made a difference in the lives of others. One life that was loved by his family. God bless them all.
  • by Keith Location: Jacksonville on Apr 12, 2009 at 10:09 AM
    Rest in peace my sweet angel. I miss you terribly.
  • by Jeff Location: Winterville on Apr 11, 2009 at 10:13 AM
    This is a horrible tragedy that this woman's life was taken from her so soon. My heart goes out to the friends and families of the victim, the killer, and the officers who work so hard to protect us every day. May our fallen hero and loved ones rest in peace.
  • by BOB Location: DODGE CITY on Apr 10, 2009 at 07:20 PM
    It is a shame that a woman has to be beaten by a man, because he cannot accept realality, and will not change the life he is living. He should have let her go instead of taking her life this woman was beautiful, and she deserved better than this, I hate it when people do such stupid things as this. I'm sorry for the family and hope that the Lord will supply each and every need they have and He will give them comfort.
  • by Danielle Location: Toledo on Apr 9, 2009 at 10:13 PM
    I worked with Cindi as well, and for a long time, she was the only "family" I had in N.C., she was such a loving, giving person, she taught me so much about life, this is such a tragedy, I will see her face in every beach I go to, she loved her family, north carolina, and her animals so much. My prayers are with her family, i'm honored to have had her in my life.
  • by Sue Location: Greenville on Apr 9, 2009 at 06:22 PM
    There are so many broken hearts in this situation. To all of the famlies involved, may God be with you.
  • by NANCY Location: GRESHAMNABRASKA on Apr 9, 2009 at 01:31 PM
    MY ANUT GOT KIILED IN SOMETHING LIKED THIS ACOUPLE YEARS AGO//MY HEART GOES TO THE FAMILY..NOBODY SHOULD DYE FROM A LOVE ONE... AND MAYGOD BE WITH ALL THR REST THAT WAS INVOLVELD,,,,MAY GOD HAVE MERSY,,,,THIS MAN THAT KILLED ALL THAT WAS THERE PRAY FOR HIS FAMILY TOO.THEY ARE HURTING TOO... MAYBE SOMEBODY COULD OF DONE SOMETHING TO SAVE CINDI,WHO KNOWS//// MAY YALL AHAVE FAITH TO CARRY THIS THROUGH..GOD WILL HELP JUST ASK ......
  • by ConcernedCitizen Location: Kinston on Apr 9, 2009 at 01:30 PM
    To the family and friends of Ms. Knighten my thoughts and prayers are with you in this difficult time.
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