Investigators discovered the body of 52-year-old David Green, Jr. Wednesday inside a freezer in his Raleigh home on Ray Road.
According to the Wake County Sheriff's Office, detectives had been investigating a missing person case filed by Green's family in September.
Detectives arrested 41-year-old Wendy Edmond Green of Lumberton late Wednesday and charged her with his murder. They say she was David's live-in girlfriend.
She had apparently moved out of the house on Ray Road, sometime after David was last seen.
Investigators also say that during the course of the couple's relationship, Wendy assumed David's last name, but they were not married.
"We've been told that they were never married by some of the family and she just took up his name," Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said.
A neighbor said the last time they saw David was in April. Authorities say they had searched the home with family prior to Wednesday's discovery, but did not find anything out of the ordinary.
However during the summer, power at the house was turned off and Harrison confirms that's why investigators were overcome by the smell of death when they opened the freezer at the home.
The sheriff's office has not released a cause of death nor have they said how long the body had been inside the home.
Harrison wouldn't comment on the condition of the body, but sources tell ABC11 Eyewitness News that an attempt had been made to cut off David Green's head and legs.
On Thursday afternoon, a judge told Wendy she would be held without bail on the charge of murder.
The couple have two biological children together. Their 17-year-old daughter, Alexis Green, was in the Wake County Jail when her father's body was discovered. She was first arrested for burglary in July, then again in September on charges of failing to appear in court.
Investigators are currently looking for the Green's 15-year-old son, David Green III, who was also raised at the house on Ray Road.
"We don't know where he is right now," Harrison said. "So if anybody has seen him or knows where he is we would love to have a call ... to make sure he is okay."
The sheriff won't say if the couple's son is a suspect. However, he is the only member of the immediate family without an adult arrest record.
David Green, Jr. was arrested in 2007 and charged with assaulting Wendy.
Seven years earlier, he sued Wendy seeking custody of their children. Green also wanted his name to be added to his daughter's birth certificate.
In the meantime, detectives say their investigation is not over and they anticipate more arrests.