2 men charged in Moore County double murder knew couple, sheriff says; robbery is suspected motive

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Wednesday, July 14, 2021
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The Moore County sheriff said two men, one a former employee, have been charged in the murder of a married couple well-loved in the community.

CARTHAGE, N.C. (WTVD) -- Two arrests have been made in the double murder of a Moore County couple who were considered a pillar in their community.

Moore County Sheriff Ronnie Fields announced the arrest late Tuesday night.

During a Wednesday news conference, Sheriff Fields said Tony Chad Patterson, 42, and Tim Cooper, 45, have been charged with murder and are being held without bond.

The arrests are connected to the killings of 91-year-old DP Black and his wife Mary Lou Black, 86.

According to the sheriff, the killing was not a random act. Officials said Tony Patterson was a former employee of DP Black.

WATCH: Moore County sheriff details arrests made in murder of married couple

The investigation has revealed robbery to be the apparent motive in the murder.

The sheriff anticipates more charges.

'They were like parents:' Moore County pastor says slain husband, wife were 'pillars' at church

The couple was found dead inside their own home on Roseland Road just outside of Aberdeen on July 9.

Their pastor called them "pillars" in the church. Their friends remembered DP as a successful businessman and loving husband and Mary Lou as the devoted foundation of her family.

Sherry Vredenburg, who is married to DP's cousin, says she's known the couple her entire life, speaking highly of their character and faith.

"They would've given them anything. They didn't have to do that," Vredenburg said.

Vredenburg spoke to Eyewitness News on Wednesday, saying the family knew Tony Patterson, who was an employee of DP and Mary Lou Black.

"We called him 'Chad'. The one that's Tony, and it's hard to believe he was even involved," Vredenburg said.

The family sees the arrest of both men as a small victory, but are still in disbelief and want justice.

"It eases my mind that they got them, but they're still gone, and we can't bring them back," Vredenburg said.