Police investigate burglary near Taft murder


Taft was taken off life support Tuesday. She had been hospitalized in critical condition since she was found badly injured at a residence in the 2700 block of Cartier Drive Saturday morning.

Police say they're investigating the death of the prominent 62-year-old State Board of Education member as a homicide.

ABC11 learned Wednesday that detectives have been going over a home in the next block over from the home where Taft was found on Wayland Drive. It was apparently the site of an attempted break-in around the same time frame as the Taft assault.

The residents of the home returned from an out-of-state trip Tuesday to find muddy footprints in the open basement. A chair had been moved from the front porch to the side of the house where a screen was cut. There were also other tell-tale signs of an attempted crime.

The residents reported the break-in to police at the Cartier Drive crime scene. Investigators then went to the house on Wayland where they collected a number of pieces of evidence.

Also Wednesday, Wake County District Attorney Colon Willoughby got a judge to seal search warrants and recordings of two 911 calls in the Taft case. Willoughby said releasing the material to the media would potentially interfere with the investigation.

Click here to read Judge Donald Stephens' order (.pdf)

The Taft family is offering a $25,000 reward for anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator of the crime. Anyone with information that might help police detectives is asked to call Raleigh Crime Stoppers at 919-834-HELP.

Meanwhile, viewing and funeral arrangements for Taft have been made:

Viewing Friday from 6-8 p.m. at Wilkerson Funeral Home
2100 East 5th Street
Greenville, NC 27858-3001
(252) 752-2101

Memorial Service Saturday 3 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church
401 East Fourth Street, Greenville, NC 27858

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