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Mary Bradley, David Bradley the mother, son in Saint Paul Church Road deaths

Rowan County authorities say they don’t suspect foul play in the deaths of a mother and son found Friday outside their home on Saint Paul Church Road. They identified the deceased as 95-year-old Mary Louise Bradley and David Manuel Bradley, 73.

The two were found Friday afternoon by a meat salesman who discovered Mary Bradley outside her home in the 1700 block of Saint Paul Church Road. Investigators with the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office arrived and discovered her son’s body nearby. Both mother and son lived at the home.

Officials said in a statement they do not suspect foul play in the deaths, but believe a combination of health problems and exposure to the elements caused their deaths. Both victims were in declining health, and both suffered from diminished mental capabilities, which was at times characterized as severe, the statement said.

Mary Bradley was found on the ground behind her home and her son was found under a utility trailer in the backyard.

Investigators believe David Bradley went outside, where he became incapacitated and unable to make it back to the house. It appears his mother went outside to look for him and possibly fell. She was not able to make it back to the house, either.

Detectives noticed damage to the home, but determined the damage was old and the residence was in a state of disrepair. There was no evidence of any sort of attack or assault, nor was there any evidence their property was stolen.

Officials were able to find relatives on Sunday.

Both victims were sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Raleigh. The complete results of these autopsies are still pending. The investigation continues as detectives await the Medical Examiner’s final report.

Contact reporter Shavonne Potts at 704-797-4253.

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