by Jordan Green

WSPD investigates ‘symbolic meaning’ of bones

A man discovered human remains while walking in the woods near Winston Lake on Jan. 25. Winston-Salem police followed up and located two human skulls and other items that suggested “a ceremonial event.” The police determined that no assault or dismemberment had taken place in the woods, and that the bones appeared to have been brought to the site after they were skeletonized. Consultation with the NC Medical Examiner’s Office and other “authorities” revealed that the items are similar to those used in a religious practice palo mayombe, a ritual that originated in the Congo area of Africa that has become popular with people of Hispanic descent. Research cited by the police department indicates that palo mayombe practitioners traditionally use bones robbed from graves as opposed ones procured through homicide, also known as human sacrifice. Detectives are reportedly working with local and federal agencies “to identify the origin of the skulls, as well as identify the symbolic meaning of the items and symbols found at the scene.”

Murder victim found in trunk

Greensboro police discovered the body of a 25-year-old woman later identified as Ashley Lashay Murphy in the truck of a car near East Wendover Avenue and Tucker Street on Jan. 26. They arrested Justin Dupree Scales, 22, the next morning and charged him with first-degree murder. Grocery store robber gets stuck in ventilation duct Greensboro police responded to a call about a commercial robbery in progress at the Food Lion grocery store on Alamance Church Road at 8 a.m. on Jan. 27. They arrested 58-year-old Leroy Johnson, who was found stuck in a ventilation duct.

SWAT team sets house on fire apprehending fugitive

The Winston-Salem SWAT team entered a house on Polo Road after James A. Brown, a fugitive from Pennsylvania evading a bank robbery sentence, refused to come out. The SWAT team, which was assisting the US Marshal’s Service used a distraction device, which started a small fire. Brown was reportedly taken into custody uninjured, and the fire department put out the fire.