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Search warrants: Blood found in murder victim Sheila Godfrey’s SUV

Murder suspect

Donald Lee Frye

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By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Rowan County detectives found blood inside the vehicle of a woman who was brutally killed two weeks ago at her Lyerly Pond Road home, search warrants show.

Sheriff’s deputies were called to 175 Lyerly Pond on April 28 where they found Sheila Godfrey, 53, dead on her kitchen floor. Search warrants filed Thursday detail what detectives collected at the scene and other places and also provide a timeline of what happened after Godfrey’s death.

The warrants say Godfrey’s death was the result of a violent assault that caused substantial blood loss. Blood was found on the steering wheel, foot pedals and console of the vehicle. Detectives collected blood samples from the Chevrolet Blazer, which has been sent for more testing.

Timeline

Detectives found Godfrey’s body on April 28 and determined she was likely killed 10 hours earlier.

She was last seen about 6 p.m. April 27 and had spoken with her daughter by telephone that evening. Just before midnight, Godfrey’s vehicle was captured on surveillance video at Super Speedwash laundromat at Avalon Drive and Faith Road.

Investigators said Donald Lee Frye was seen on video at the laundromat. He drove her vehicle to the business, parked it and, after a few minutes, walked away from the area.

Sara Wetter, a woman Rowan authorities interviewed, said she drove Frye on April 27 to an area on Faith Road between Faith and Salisbury and parked in an empty paved lot. Frye told Wetter he was going to visit a friend and walked toward Lyerly Pond Road.

Wetter said the next time she saw Frye was about midnight when he asked her to pick him up at the laundromat. Before she arrived, Frye called her to pick him up at the Shell gas station on East Innes Street.

According to warrants, Wetter said she didn’t watch or read the news and did not know about the murder until Detective Chad Moose told her. Detectives seized cellphones from both Wetter and Frye.

A detective interviewed Frye on May 3, and he admitted knowing Godfrey. He told detectives he visited with her April 25. Frye denied using the victim’s debit card, then requested an attorney before further questioning.

Debit cards

The records showed that at 11:25 p.m. April 27, someone pulled into the Shell gas station on East Innes Street in Godfrey’s SUV and that someone tried to use her debit card. A few minutes later, Frye was at the Avalon Drive laundromat.

On April 28, according to a search warrant, a white man was seen using Godfrey’s debit card about 7 a.m., before her body was discovered. Her debit card was used the same day at 12:26 p.m. at the Marathon gas station in Richfield.

Frye was seen on surveillance video from those stores, wearing the same clothes he was seen in the night before at the laundromat. At 8:56 p.m., Frye bought items at a gas station on South Cannon Boulevard in Kannapolis, then two pizzas at Domino’s. On April 29, the same debit card was used at the same gas station in Kannapolis.

Evidence

Detective Moose received a call from Kannapolis police saying an informant had identified the suspect Rowan officials were searching for, the warrant said.

Moose said he observed Frye on May 2 at his East 12th Street home in Kannapolis and the gold Honda he was said to be driving. On May 3, a search warrant was served at Frye’s home.

A search of Frye’s home, which is behind a Kannapolis porn shop his father owns, yielded a crack pipe and other drug paraphernalia and a green family reunion T-shirt that Frye was seen wearing on store surveillance video.

Detectives also seized a blue hammer with a hair particle found on it, two porn CDs, a wallet with identification cards, two Domino’s pizza boxes from an outside trash can, soda bottles from the trash can, shoes, a Timex watch, a black hat and jeans.

The warrants say Frye used Godfrey’s debit cards to buy gas and two pizzas. Godfrey’s bank account statements confirmed her card had been used at several locations in Kannapolis and Richfield. The pizza was bought on South Cannon Boulevard.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

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