Wednesday, 12 March 2014 17:10

RRPD renews focus on Woodley murder

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Hardy shows the case file. Hardy shows the case file.

Roanoke Rapids police have reopened the 1998 murder case of James “Peanut” Woodley, hoping a renewed investigation may bring in new leads.

Charged with launching this new probe is Jamie Hardy, a seasoned narcotics investigator, who likes to hit the streets and talk to people. “I'm going through the file and getting familiar with it,” he said today.

He will be bringing some new tactics to the investigation, talking to agencies specializing in cold cases and, “Looking for more help from the public.”

Early into the new investigation, nothing new has come about, he said. He has interviewed the two people Woodley was with March 24, 1998, when what was described as a 1960s model Plymouth or Dodge made its way to the 200 block of Monroe Street and six shots were fired from what is believed to be an SKS assault rifle. His friends escaped unharmed but a 5.56 millimeter round struck the 19-year-old Woodley in the neck.

Ten minutes earlier, around 9:08 p.m., the same vehicle was seen in the 200 block of Madison Street where two men exited and threatened a victim a gunpoint, stealing a 14-karat gold necklace and charm with the word “King” written on it.

Subsequent examinations of similar weapons seized have turned up no evidence that may be helpful in the Woodley investigation, Hardy said.

Word on the street is that Peanut may have been mistaken for his brother, but Hardy has not been able to confirm that through independent investigation. “We're hoping with time gone by someone will be willing to come forward without fear of repercussions. He was a good kid. He didn't get into trouble. He loved sports. Everyone was really shocked and upset when it happened.”

Hardy has been going through old statements, trying to ferret out what may be true and what may be false. “I'm looking at it as a new case.”

At the time of the murder, law enforcement was looking for a car that had possible Virginia tags EW-35??. Hardy said, however, nothing in Virginia or North Carolina matched those numbers.

Anyone with information is encouraged to call Hardy at 252-326-4528; the police department at 252-533-2810 or Crimestoppers at 252-583-4444.




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