Police solve break-in near Taft murder scene

RALEIGH Crime scene analysts and detectives investigated the attempted break-in on Wayland Drive. A couple weeks after that, there was a successful break-in at a house around the bend on Cartier Drive.

The man who lives in that house says police cleared the Taft murder scene a few days earlier, but he says a detective in an unmarked car was on the street in front of his house when the break-in happened.

Homeowner Joseph Andrews says he had just given police investigating Taft's murder a DNA swab a day or two earlier and was angry they didn't notice a burglar in his back yard.

"This breaking and entering here, you know, has just got me so angry that, you know, I mean, I'm a man of little means," Andrews said.

He says police were able to return his big screen TV and a camera stolen in the burglary. Andrews says they found them in a pawn shop in Raleigh and said they had also identified a suspect.

On Tuesday, police weren't able to quickly track down enough information to see whether the suspect in that break-in might also be a suspect in another crime that happened at a house right behind Andrews' home.

Even if the break-in attempt there and the break-in at Andrews' house are connected, there is still the question of whether they are in any way connected to Taft's murder.

Taft's sister speaks

Taft's sister Dina Holton spoke with WCTI-TV on the North Carolina coast a day after ABC11 first reported that she was not considered a suspect in Taft's death.

Holton found Taft after authorities say someone sexually assaulted and beat the 62-year-old inside a home on Cartier Lane in the late night hours of March 5 or the early morning hours of March 6.

The only person in the house other than Taft, according to court records, was Holton.

Holton discovered Taft unresponsive the morning of March 6 and called 911. She told WCTI that she heard someone in the house before she found her sister badly beaten.

"I heard footsteps and I know somebody was in that house. But I didn't know that house. I'd never stayed in that house before and then I found her and that's when I called 911," she said.

Police interrogated Holton, but she says they treated her with the utmost respect.

"Even the interrogation I've been through. Whatever it could take to find out what happened to my sister," she said. "I was never treated as a suspect. Not ever."

Holton says her sister was her best friend and it never mattered what people said about that night. She says she loved her sister dearly and just wants the killer caught.

"I miss her terribly. She was my soul mate," she said.

Reward offered

Taft's 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.

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