Cherokee County Sheriff Bill Blanton said Monday that physical evidence links three shootings to a serial killer blamed for five deaths in a week in the rural community. Authorities were still searching for the killer, but Blanton did not elaborate on the evidence found.
The shootings occurred within about 10 miles of each other in Cherokee County, a rural community of 54,000 people set amid peach orchards and farms some 50 miles west of Charlotte, N.C.
A peach farmer was killed June 27 in the first of three separate attacks. An elderly woman and her daughter were shot dead Wednesday. Thursday, a father and his 15-year-old daughter were shot and killed.
"Serial killing is just a definition. He could also be called a spree killer," Blanton said. "The fact is, he's just a cold-blooded murderer. He's ruined the lives of these three families and has torn our community up. But folks are dealing with it and dealing with it well."
Blanton said witnesses described the man as about 6-feet-2 inches tall with salt and pepper hair. He said investigators are working the case intensely.
"Each day this task force is getting a little closer we think," he said.
Hundreds of people went to funeral services Sunday for the mother and daughter.