The Roanoke Rapids police charged 28-year-old Tony Maurice Gorham Saturday with murder and robbery in the deaths of Maxine McCrary and her daughter Nancy Burgess.
On Friday, Burgess, of Durham, paid a visit to her mother.Julie Spencer, the principal of the school where Burgess worked, told CBS affiliate WRAL, "I know this past week she spoke very fondly of plans that she was going to spend with her mother for Mother's Day."
At some point Friday, the 92-year-old McCrary had been on the phone with her son, then hung up to answer her front door. McCrary told her son a neighbor was at her door, and probably wanted to use the telephone.
McCrary's son, James, eventually tried to call his mother back multiple times, but when the phone was continually busy, he feared the worst, and called the police.
Roanoke Police Chief Jeff Hinton said that the police responded to James' 911 call and found both mother and daughter had been killed. They believe that Gorham's motive was to rob his elderly neighbor, since some items, including a pocketbook, were taken from the home, reports WRAL.
"What a horrific tragedy. It is truthfully a little bit beyond my comprehension how something like this could happen to such a sweet soul," principal Spencer told WRAL.
Gorham is being held in the Halifax County jail without bond. His first court appearance is set for Tuesday.