Fundraiser held for slain retired firefighter

Donnie Watson
October 5, 2012 9:28:30 AM PDT
While Donald Watson Sr.'s brutal murder remains unsolved, his family is fighting back by hosting a fundraising event Friday to help increase a Crimestoppers reward for information in the case.

The 74-year-old retired firefighter and wrecker company owner was found murdered in his Durham home in the 4400 block of Regis Avenue shortly after 10 a.m. on July 9.

So far, there have been no arrests in the case.

"We're all thoroughly disgusted that this person is still out there," family friend Kathy Johnson said. "Donnie was very important to his Legion family .. he was larger than life."

The fundraiser Friday will include chicken dinners and a silent auction. It will also showcase Watson's love of cars and his career as a race car driver. Even his wrecker will be on display at the event.

Watson's family said the goal is to raise $10,000. They said with the help of the community, they'll achieve it.

"I feel in my heart that they know to be here, because I don't think there's a person whose life he hasn't touched," Johnson said.

"Hopefully, this will get somebody that will remember something that will possibly hear something and relay it back to the authorities because at this point now," family friend Danny McDuffie said. "He worked for the fire department for 30-something years and risked his life and then to be brutally murdered, it just isn't fair."

According to court documents, police have a person of interest in the case who is already in jail on an unrelated charge.

The fundraiser for Watson will be at the American Legion on Trinity Avenue in Durham starting at 10 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Meanwhile, anyone with information about the murder is asked to call Investigator West at (919) 560-4440, ext. 29341 or CrimeStoppers at (919) 683-1200.

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