Durham chief elusive about ongoing investigations

April 11, 2011 9:00:00 PM PDT
Durham Police Chief Jose Lopez held a news conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss an undercover operation targeting people who purchase illegal scrap metal, and ABC11 Eyewitness News used the event as an opportunity to ask him about two open cases.

ABC11 asked Chief Lopez about two current cases.

"We didn't find any scrap metal there," Lopez said.

That was the Chief's response to a question about the flurry of police activity ABC11 saw Monday at a home on Pear Tree Lane. The home is at the center of the search for 4-year-old Jadon Higganbothan and 28-year-old Antoinetta McKoy.

The victims are not related to each other but both are missing. According to court documents, they were believed to have been staying at the home on Pear Tree Lane under the control of Pete Moses, the leader of a cult. A confidential informant told police Higganbothan and McKoy were murdered inside the home. However, police have not filed charges.

When asked if there was anything ABC11 could tell the public to help police crack the case, Chief Lopez replied, "No. Because when we do find that, we will give it to you."

ABC11 also asked the Chief questions about the charges filed against veteran Durham Police Sergeant Lester Rhodes. Lopez also declined to answer those questions but eventually explained why.

"I pride myself in being very transparent with the media," he said. "When I do have information that I can give the media relative to anything that's going on in our investigations, I do, but I don't give any information out that would in fact harm an investigation."

Lopez said Rhodes remains on paid administrative leave. He also added that both investigations are ongoing.

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