Investigators seeking more information in Elkin homicide case

By Wendy Byerly Wood -

Officers work the scene of a homicide on Fremont Lane near the Elkin Municipal Airport May 11.

As they continue to probe a shooting death last week in Elkin, investigators are seeking the public’s help with trying to put a timeline together to help solve the case.

Charlie Winfield Spann, 73, was found in his driveway on Fremont Lane, off CC Camp Road, around 11:51 a.m. May 11, dead from a gunshot wound or wounds.

Since that time, detectives with the Surry County Sheriff’s Office “have been working on it just about nonstop,” said Sheriff Graham Atkinson Tuesday afternoon.

“We have developed several leads we are continuing to pursue, but at this moment, our focus is on trying to eliminate things and we are working really hard to establish a timeline of Mr. Spann’s events that day,” he said.

The sheriff did confirm gunshot wounds as the cause of death, but said they are keeping the number and areas of the wounds under wraps for now. “We don’t want to comment on the number of times and where he was shot because it becomes important when we are interviewing people,” Atkinson explained.

“If there is anyone we haven’t interviewed who saw him, talked to him, or knew his events he had planned for the day, or knew his events the days leading up to last Wednesday, we would like to have that information,” he said.

“We don’t have any motive, but I suspect that probably it was someone he knew. Based on the circumstances and physical evidence at the scene, it indicates he knew his assailant,” Atkinson said. Alluding to another homicide case in Mount Airy the same morning, adding, “There is nothing we’ve found to indicate those others are connected other than the proximity of time.”

In that case, 80-year-old Claudia Smith of 409 Franklin St. was killed by someone who broke into her home during the early morning hours of May 11. Jordon Ross Lowdermilk, 28, of Briar Patch Lane, Dobson, was charged in that case, as well as in the stabbing of a motorist who had stopped along Interstate 77 just outside of Mount Airy.

Atkinson asked for anyone with information they could provide to call the sheriff’s office at 336-401-8900.

“The time line is just really important. If we could talk to anyone else who had conversations with him that day particularly, but even anyone he was in contact with who might know what he was doing or who he’d been talking to leading up to that day,” said Atkinson.

Wendy Byerly Wood may be reached at 336-258-4035 or on Twitter @wendywoodeditor.

Officers work the scene of a homicide on Fremont Lane near the Elkin Municipal Airport May 11. work the scene of a homicide on Fremont Lane near the Elkin Municipal Airport May 11.

By Wendy Byerly Wood

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