Crime

Victim identified in Lincoln County fatal stabbing

The 77-year-old woman who was found fatally stabbed in her bed Sunday afternoon in Denver, N.C., has been identified as Lucille Miller Punch, Lincoln County authorities said.

Authorities were dispatched to Punch’s home in the 400 block of Beth Haven Church Road around 1:30 p.m. to investigate a possible death, according to a Sheriff’s Office statement.

The victim’s son-in-law, who lives next door, went by the home around that time to take out the victim’s trash and noticed the sliding glass door of the mobile home was open, according to a statement.

He went inside and discovered the woman dead, apparently stabbed to death on what investigators described as a “hospital-style bed.” No one had seen her alive since 5 p.m. Saturday. The woman’s killing is the first in Lincoln County this year, a statement said.

Investigators said they had no suspects, and there was no sign of forced entry into the mobile home on Beth Haven Church Road in eastern Lincoln County.

“The investigation has taken detectives to multiple jurisdictions as they follow up possible leads in the case,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

Punch’s body has been sent to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem for an autopsy to determine the exact cause of death, a statement said.

Anyone with information about the incident should call the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050, the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202 or Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909.

Arriero: 704-358-5945;

Twitter: @earriero

400 block of Beth Haven Church Road in Denver

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