A North Carolina man who was thought to have died in a car crash is now believed to have been murdered by his wife after a funeral home found stab wounds that were overlooked by local authorities.
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.
Sure enough, Vernon Peterson found apparent stab wounds on Worley's back, and alerted Harnett County investigators.
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.
The medical examiner confirmed that Worley's cause of death was a punctured lung and not the car crash, which occurred as a result of his fatal injury.
County investigators soon arrived at Worley and Talley's home to find the suspect "in the process of moving out."
She was taken down to the sheriff's office, where investigators noticed that her gold fingernail polish seemed to match flecks found on a blood-soaked shirt recovered at the scene of the crash.
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.