Nurse killed in alleged murder-suicide

Burlington police officials are continuing to investigate the death of a Duke Hospital nurse that occurred Friday night at her Burlington home.

Police said Dorothy Shiner Phillips, 45, was shot and killed by her domestic partner Leonard Woodies, 49, with a single barrel shotgun as Phillips was standing on her porch. Woodies then shot himself in the head.

Phillips worked as a phlebotomist at the Durham Regional Hospital under the Duke University Health System Clinical Laboratory.

Neighbors reported that they heard gunshots from the residence around 10 p.m., after which police arrived at the scene and found the couple dead.

"Right now there's not any clear-cut indication as to what may have caused the murder," Cpt. Greg Seel said, adding that it will be six to eight weeks before medical examiners release their report.

Police have only previously received calls for minor noise violations involving the residence, Seel said.

Students, employee targeted in robberies

The Durham Police Department is investigating two armed robberies that targeted a pair of Duke graduate students and a Duke employee near campus May 21.

No one was injured in either incident.

"At this time, the suspect in both incidents is believed to be the same person," Duke University Police Department Maj. Gloria Graham said in a statement.

Victims described the suspect as a 5-foot-6-inch white man with shaved blonde hair wearing a white T-shirt.

In the first incident, a man with a gun confronted a Duke employee from an alley outside Bean Traders at 714 Ninth St. and demanded his wallet at 7:12 p.m., Graham said.

At 8:17 p.m., two graduate students were approached on Watts Street and Dacian Avenue by a man with a gun. The suspect snatched one student's purse, Graham said.

Following the robbery, the suspect jumped into the passenger seat of a beige Toyota 4Runner.

Autopsy released for slain NCCU student

A female student from North Carolina Central University who was fatally stabbed and found on the side of a highway in January may have also been raped, according to an autopsy report released Friday.

Medical examiners found a condom on the body of junior Latrese Curtis and marked that her jeans were unbuttoned and her fly unzipped.

Examiners listed the cause of death as "multiple sharp force injuries." Curtis was stabbed nearly 40 times, including in her face, chest and stomach, according to the report.

A motorist found Curtis's body on the side of I-540 in Raleigh Jan. 30. Durham resident Robert Reaves has been charged with first-degree murder for her death.

Eight NCCU students have died in the 2007-2008 academic year, with causes ranging from homicide to car accidents, The (Raleigh) News and Observer reported earlier this month.


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