Clayton Police Department found Inita Gaither, 68, dead inside her home on Crawford Parkway during a welfare check around 4:30 p.m. Thursday. While investigating, officers identified Camille Nechelle Singleton as a suspect in the homicide.
Singleton is on the run and is believed to have her 2-year-old son, Dior Singleton with her. An AMBER Alert has been issued for the child.
Gaither's daughter, Willette Eley, said her mom had four children. She said Gaither was raising one of Singleton's sons. Police are still investigating whether Dior lived with Gaither.
The investigation started when police showed up at Gaither's home. They found her with a gunshot to the head.
If your phone buzzed with an @AMBERAlert tonight here’s more. @ClaytonPoliceNC are urgently looking for Dior Singleton and his mom Camille.— Josh Chapin (@JoshChapinABC11) October 2, 2021
They say Camille allegedly killed 68 year old Inita Gathier in her home and abducted her son #abc11 pic.twitter.com/fQHOymvZLq
Neighbor Rebecca Rowe said Gaither was a grandmother for the whole neighborhood.
"She was real sweet. She loved children," said Rowe. "She took care of her grandson and she just always had children around, and she kept a lot of children. She had a lot of relatives that came over and brought their children. She just loved children."
Rowe said there was tension between Singleton and Gaither, but she didn't know why.
"I know she didn't deserve that, no matter what," Rowe said. "She took care of her grandson on her own. For the last, I've been here three years. That was her whole life."
Other neighbors described the area as typically quiet and expressed shock at the situation.
"She was just the sweetest lady I've ever known," said neighbor Roger Hastings. "You just don't find people better than that and this is something you don't expect around here. It was a shock to the whole community."
Singleton now has active warrants out for her arrest. Police said she left the area, and their best clue was from a U-Haul dealership in Georgia where Singleton had dropped off a white U-Haul pickup.
Investigators said they believe Singleton could be headed to Arkansas, Virginia, or Macon, Georgia.
A few neighbors said they saw the U-Haul truck outside the home for a few days.
Police told ABC11 that the AMBER Alert was deployed for the child after they talked to Dior's father, who is deployed at sea with the Navy.
Eley said she's praying that investigators find Singleton and her child.
Anyone with information about Singleton or Dior's whereabouts is asked to call Clayton Police Department (919-553-4611) or 911.