Strangulation listed as cause of death for dentist; 23-year-old woman charged
By Steve Huffman
Salisbury Police have charged a woman with the strangulation murder of a Salisbury dentist.
A preliminary autopsy indicates Dr. David Boyd, 47, died by strangulation, Police Chief Mark Wilhelm said Friday afternoon.
Candice Jo Drye, 23, of 142 Delano’s Lane, Mocksville, is being held without bond in the Rowan County Detention Center. She made a first court appearance Friday and is scheduled for a probable cause hearing July 9.
Boyd was found dead Thursday morning in his house at 9 Pine Tree Road, in the heart of the Country Club of Salisbury. He was found in his bed, bound hand and foot.
Drye was arrested about 10:30 p.m. Thursday. Police say Drye and Boyd were “acquaintances.” And that’s about all they’re saying.
“We have to be very sensitive about what we say,” Wilhelm said at a news conference Friday morning outside the Police Department.
“They have to live their lives,” he continued, referring to Boyd’s wife, Kathy, and the couple’s three children. “We don’t want them affected by anything said here today.”
A news release from police gives few details of the murder. Wilhelm read from the release, then elaborated little.
According to the release, Boyd was found in bed, bound by his hands and feet. Wilhelm said later in the day that an autopsy revealed Boyd died of strangulation.
He said Boyd’s death was not a random act, and more people could be arrested in the case.
“Anytime there’s an arrest, it’s a relief for the neighborhood, a relief for police,” Wilhelm said.
He said 15 to 20 officers worked the case throughout the day Thursday, some remaining in the house overnight.
Asked if there was anything about the murder investigation on which he could expound, Wilhelm replied, “Nothing that I haven’t already said.”
A check of Drye’s criminal record revealed a handful of motor vehicle violations.
Before Thursday’s arrest, Drye’s most recent brush with the law was earlier this month when she was found guilty in Rowan County District Court of driving while impaired. She was fined $1,001 and placed on three years of probation.
She was charged with DWI on Jan. 1.
Officers cited Drye twice for driving with a revoked license, once in January and again in February. She also was cited on a single count of failing to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of an address change.
The Davie County Sheriff’s Department in Mocksville had four reports about or involving Candice Jo Drye.
The most recent, according to Capt. J.D. Hartman, was a 911 hangup call on March 5 from 123 Grant Trail. A male subject was shouting in the background when the call was made, Hartman said.
The officer who responded to the call did not enter a report other than to close it out, he said.
On Feb. 19, 2008, Drye was the suspect in a domestic disturbance reported by Jeremy Cruse. Drye was intoxicated, the report said, and was taken by Davie County Emergency Medical Service to Davie County Hospital because of her intoxication level, Hartman said. No charges were filed.
Drye’s family indicated they wanted to check into having her committed, but Hartman said the report does not specify whether they followed up on that.
On Sept. 1, 2006, Drye was listed as the victim of a domestic disturbance with Jeremy Cruse at a residence on Junction Road. The disturbance was resolved without charges being filed, according to the report.
Drye now lives just off Junction Road with stepparents Jerry and Lisa Cruse; Drye’s three children; brother Jeremy Cruse; and Lisa Cruse’s two teenage sons.
In January 2004, Drye was arrested for failure to pay fines imposed in a court case in Yadkin County. According to Yadkin County court records, Drye was charged on Sept. 8, 2003, with possession of a malt beverage by an underage person.
She went to court on Dec. 10, 2003, where she received a prayer for judgment and was ordered to pay $100 in court costs and $200 in community service fees.
A co-worker found Dr. David Boyd’s body in his home Thursday morning when the dentist didn’t show up for work. Boyd’s wife and children ó a 12-year-old daughter and 9-year-old twin boys ó were vacationing at the beach.
Wilhelm said there was no sign of forced entry into the house, which is on a quiet street surrounded by the country club’s golf course.
Boyd is originally from Charlotte and graduated from South Mecklenburg High School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 1986, he graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill’s School of Dentistry.
His office is on Statesville Boulevard. On Thursday, a sign on the door read, “This office is closed due to an emergency.”
Staff writers Kathy Chaffin and Sara Gregory contributed to this story.