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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