UPDATE: Murder Case of Brevard Couple May Have Motive

Investigators say the person who killed an elderly woman on a North Carolina hiking trail could have kidnapped her husband to access the couple's bank account.

Transylvania County Sheriff David Mahoney says it's possible
that 79-year-old John Bryant was taken to provide the account's
identification number.

A bank surveillance photo shows a person using the Bryants'
banking card to withdraw $300 from a bank in Ducktown, Tenn. on
Oct. 22. The hood of the jacket obscures the person's face.

The state medical examiner says Bryant's wife, 84-year-old Irene
Bryant, died from a blow to the head. Her body was found last
Friday, but her husband hasn't been located.

The Henderson County couple had been missing for three weeks
before the search was called off. The sheriff says the case is now
a homicide investigation.

Investigators are offering a $10,000 reward for information.
An investigation into the disappearance of a retired couple in North Carolina's mountains is now a murder investigation.

Transylvania County Sheriff David Mahoney says a bank card
belonging to 79-year-old John Bryant and his 84-year-old wife,
Irene, was used to withdraw 300 dollars on Oct. 22 in Ducktown,
Tenn. It's about 130 miles west of Brevard, the nearest town to the
Pisgah National Forest hiking trail where a body was found last
Friday.

Mahoney says the body has been identified as that of Irene
Bryant. He says the medical examiner determined that she was killed
by blunt force trauma.

The couple set off on a hike in the area three weeks ago.
Telephone records show someone tried to call 911 from the Bryants'
cell phone on Oct. 21, but officials say the call didn't go
through. The couple's vehicle was found parked near a trail
entrance outside Brevard.


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