In Western North Carolina, authorities have disclosed new information following a tragic incident where two individuals were discovered dead in an apparent murder-suicide within a residence engulfed in flames.
Captain Jonathan Phillips from the Macon County Sheriff’s Office confirmed on Wednesday to News 13 that 77-year-old Irene Witherspoon and 75-year-old Nathaniel Witherspoon were found deceased inside a home on Prentiss Bridge Road around 6 p.m. on January 4, 2024. Captain Phillips revealed that Irene had sustained multiple stab wounds, and he indicated, “The preliminary investigation points towards a murder-suicide.” He added that they are awaiting the final autopsy report.
The sheriff’s office has characterized this event as an isolated incident.
Initially, Clarks Chapel Fire and Rescue, along with assistance from Franklin and Otto Fire and Rescue departments and Macon County EMS, responded to the fire on Prentiss Bridge Road. Following the discovery of the two deceased individuals, an investigation was launched by the Macon County Sheriff’s Office, NC State Bureau of Investigation, and the Macon County Fire Marshal’s Office. The fire resulted in the complete destruction of the house and two vehicles, as reported by authorities.
Macon County Sheriff Brent Holbrooks expressed condolences in a press release on January 5, 2024, saying, “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families affected by this devastating fire. Our dedicated firefighters worked diligently to control the blaze and provide assistance as we worked the scene. We will collaborate with the State Bureau of Investigation to thoroughly investigate the incident and ascertain the root cause.”