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Elderly Suspect Identified in Connection with 1992 North Carolina Cold Case Murder — 'She Loved Us, and We Loved Her,' Sister Says

cold case arrest
Source: Hancock County Sheriff’s Office; MEGA

Dec. 4 2023, Published 1:17 p.m. ET

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A Mississippi man was arrested in connection with the murder of a North Carolina woman whose body was found on the side of an interstate over 30 years ago.

The Surry County Sheriff’s Office recently announced DNA helped investigators to identify a suspect in the case, Warren Luther Alexander, 72, in Diamondhead, Mississippi. Authorities then arrested him in connection with the 1992 cold case murder of the victim, identified as Nona Stamey Cobb, the Winston-Salem Journal reported.

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Cobb’s body was located along Interstate 77 in Surry County, North Carolina, on July 7, 1992, An autopsy at the time determined she had been strangled to death.

Investigators said 29-year-old Cobb was last seen the evening before the grisly discovery getting into a truck at a Cleveland County welcome center.

Before Alexander's arrest, police obtained their most promising lead in the case in 1995 and tested the DNA of Asheboro-based trucker Sean Patrick Goble. His profile was not a match with that of forensic evidence collected from the victim’s body. Goble, however, was convicted and received multiple life sentences for slaying three women in unrelated cases.

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Cobb's murder case eventually went cold. But in April 2021, the State Bureau of Investigation’s Cold Case Investigation Unit and detectives from the Surry County Sheriff’s Office went back over the evidence.

According to the sheriff’s office, investigators were able to identify Alexander as a suspect in Cobb's homicide by examining the DNA.

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He was extradited from Mississippi to North Carolina and was being held without bond in the Surry County jail.

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In a 1992 interview with the Journal, Vickie S. Gregory said her sister was battling a drug problem at the time of her disappearance.

“She loved us, and we loved her,” Gregory said of Cobb, who was a widowed mother of a then-3-year-old boy. “Just because you do something wrong doesn’t mean you stop loving her.”

cold case arrest
Source: Hancock County Sheriff’s Office; MEGA
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