Bertie County, NC -- A Bertie County man has been arrested for the murders of his wife and two small children in 1972.
On the morning of November 26, 1972, fire destroyed the house located on Route 1 in Windsor. It was the home of Roy Lawrence Rascoe, his wife Annie Elizabeth Smallwood Rascoe, and their two small children. His daughter was one-year-old Retta Renee Rascoe. His son was two-year-old Tony Ray Rascoe.
After the fire, the badly burned remains of Mrs. Rascoe and her two children were found at the scene. Mr. Rascoe wasn't hurt.
The sheriff's office says : "In recent months, new evidence related to this incident was uncovered. Since then, Bertie County Sheriff’s Office, with substantial assistance from the Windsor Police Department, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, has been diligently investigating the case."
68-year-old Roy Lawrence Rascoe was charged Monday. He faces three counts of first degree murder and first degree arson.
According to Smallwood's death certificate autopsy results said "Charred body found: But did not die in fire." Since it was over thirty years ago the Sheriff's Department could not say why the prior investigation didn't lead to an arrest.