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Locust police have arrest warrant in murder of woman stabbed and burned

Locust police said Wednesday they plan to charge a 60-year-old man with murder in connection with the killing of Donna Marie Helms-Perez who was found stabbed and partially burned last Friday in woods on an old farm near the Stanly County town.

Police Chief Frank Hartsell said in a statement his department and the State Bureau of Investigation have obtained arrest warrants for Randy Lee Edwards that they plan to serve once Edwards is released from a medical facility.

The statement provided no more information on Edwards and said no more details would be disclosed about the case until the trial.

An off-duty firefighter found the body of Helms-Perez, 40, Friday evening in woods on an abandoned farm at 8300 N.C. 200 near County Line Road just inside Cabarrus County. The town of Locust straddles the Cabarrus-Stanly border.

She’d been stabbed and her assailant had tried to burn her, authorities say.

Hartsell asked for assistance from the SBI, the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office and Concord Police. After an extensive investigation, Locust police and the SBI got the arrest warrant for Edwards.

The statement didn’t say which medical facility he was in, or why he was there.

Perlmutt: 704-358-5061

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