Death of Elkin man being investigated as homicide


By Wendy Byerly Wood - [email protected]



Officers work the scene of a homicide on Fremont Lane near the Elkin Municipal Airport Wednesday afternoon.


Troy Brooks | The Tribune

Officers work the scene of a homicide on Fremont Lane near the Elkin Municipal Airport Wednesday afternoon.


Troy Brooks | The Tribune

Surry County Sheriff Graham Atkinson answers questions about the death of a Fremont Lane resident Wednesday afternoon.


Troy Brooks | The Tribune

Surry County Sheriff Graham Atkinson answers questions about the death of a Fremont Lane resident Wednesday afternoon.


Troy Brooks | The Tribune

Law enforcement and emergency officials were on the scene of a homicide near the Elkin Municipal Airport Wednesday afternoon, and continued their investigation into the case Thursday.

According to Surry County Sheriff Graham Atkinson, the initial call was reported as a shooting at 11:51 a.m. at 172 Fremont Lane, off CC Camp Road just west of the airport entrance. He said upon arrival, “we found Charlie Winfield Spann, 73, deceased in the driveway.”

He said at 3 p.m. Wednesday, very little was known about the incident, while officials awaited the arrival of a search warrant, which was en route. They did have assistance searching in the woods around and behind the home by the K-9 units from Iredell County, the closest units available at the time, but they already had left the scene.

The SBI Crime Scene Lab was on the scene, but they also were unable to do anything until the search warrant arrived.

“Right now we know it is a homicide victim, but it is very early in the stages, even though it’s been three hours,” Atkinson said. “At this point, there was no one else at the residence [when it occurred]. The original call came from a friend who came to check on him when he wouldn’t answer his phone.

“We’ve not been close enough to examine what caused his death,” he said. “All that was done was determine he was deceased and then we stepped back to wait on a search warrant.”

Surry County Sheriff’s Capt. Lloyd Terry said Thursday morning the search warrant was served Wednesday evening. “We processed the scene and are still working through the evidence and leads,” he said.

“We are looking at some of the interviews and possible leads,” Terry said.

The cause of death, Terry said, is pending an autopsy and toxicology report. “There was a gunshot heard in the area, and he was located and it is believed to be that, but sometimes traumatic injuries aren’t easy to discern.

“We are still in the early stages of this, it was late last night before we finished up at the scene,” the captain said. “We are still actually running down leads this morning.”

Atkinson said Wednesday anyone who was within eye shot or nearby had been interviewed about the incident, but it was too early to speculate what led up to the shooting and death.

With Surry County officials also investigating a stabbing death over the weekend in Lowgap, a stabbing on I-77 near the N.C. 89 exit Wednesday morning and the homicide of an elderly woman in Mount Airy Wednesday morning, Atkinson said, “There is no reason to think it is [related to those deaths], but there is nothing indicating it is not.

“It is unusual to have so many homicides so close together,” he said, but assured his resources were enough that the sheriff’s office was able to maintain handling other calls while these homicide investigations were ongoing.

Atkinson said the family of Spann was “obviously upset. It is a traumatic incident for them. They’ve been very cooperative.”

Terry said anyone who might have information that could help in the case is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 336-401-8900.

Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.

Officers work the scene of a homicide on Fremont Lane near the Elkin Municipal Airport Wednesday afternoon.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_IMG_0402-1.jpgOfficers work the scene of a homicide on Fremont Lane near the Elkin Municipal Airport Wednesday afternoon. Troy Brooks | The Tribune

Officers work the scene of a homicide on Fremont Lane near the Elkin Municipal Airport Wednesday afternoon.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_IMG_0404-1.jpgOfficers work the scene of a homicide on Fremont Lane near the Elkin Municipal Airport Wednesday afternoon. Troy Brooks | The Tribune

Surry County Sheriff Graham Atkinson answers questions about the death of a Fremont Lane resident Wednesday afternoon.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_IMG_0409-001-1.jpgSurry County Sheriff Graham Atkinson answers questions about the death of a Fremont Lane resident Wednesday afternoon. Troy Brooks | The Tribune

Surry County Sheriff Graham Atkinson answers questions about the death of a Fremont Lane resident Wednesday afternoon.
http://elkintribune.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/web1_IMG_0407-001-1.jpgSurry County Sheriff Graham Atkinson answers questions about the death of a Fremont Lane resident Wednesday afternoon. Troy Brooks | The Tribune

By Wendy Byerly Wood

[email protected]

Elkin Tribune
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