Both N.C. Highway Patrol officers and county investigators missed the wounds while they were looking over David Lokeith Worley's body for gunshot wounds, initially suspecting him of being the perp in an ultimately unrelated incident involving a man who fled from a crime scene after being fired upon.
Family members of the 39-year-old Spring Lake resident refused to accept the official line that he had perished in a single-car accident on July 19th, and asked a Unity Funeral Home worker for a second opinion.
A medical examiner then took another look and confirmed: Worley had indeed been stabbed to death.
According to a search warrant affidavit, Worley's family had grown suspicious after learning that he had quarreled with his wife, 32-year-old Toni Marsha Talley, an hour before the accident, and that she had allegedly used a butcher knife to stab him.
County investigators soon arrived at Worley and Talley's home to find the suspect "in the process of moving out."
Talley was subsequently arrested on a charge of first-degree murder and booked into Harnett County Detention Center, where she remains in lieu of a $200,000 bond.