12 years later, man arrested in connection with wife's murder - WSFX - FOX Wilmington, NC

New clues into why man was arrested twelve years after wife's death

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John Avery Phillip Cumbee (Source: Columbus County Sheriff's Office) John Avery Phillip Cumbee (Source: Columbus County Sheriff's Office)
Angela Jones Cumbee (Source: Columbus Co. Sheriff's Office) Angela Jones Cumbee (Source: Columbus Co. Sheriff's Office)

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Family members of a Columbus County woman who's death was an alleged suicide 12 years ago say they knew eventually it would be called a murder.

Deputies said they arrested a man Tuesday in connection with the murder of his wife.

John Avery Phillip Cumbee, 51, of Honey Field Road, Whiteville, has been charged for the murder of his wife, Angela Jones Cumbee in 2000.

According to authorities, on August 7, 2000, the Columbus County Sheriff's Office responded to an alleged suicide on Dock Road in the Crusoe Island Community.  Investigators found Angela Jones Cumbee's body on her bedroom floor with a single gun shot wound to her head.

District Attorney Jon David says, Angela's death was an act of domestic violence. The couple was only married for eight months, but according to David they had problems in their relationship. David tells us, his office believes there were situations of domestic violence in the home.

"There are certain challenges with prosecuting cold cases, but justice never sleeps," said David. "If we develop new information, that something which was ruled a suicide is in fact a murder, we're going to work very closely with law enforcement to get to the bottom of it. Do what we can to bring justice to it."

According to deputies, there are no incident reports involving domestic violence between Angela and Phillip Cumbee. 

The house where Angela's body was discovered has been torn down and her grave is on the property. 

Deputies say Angela had three biological children who were minors when their mother died. 

Wednesday, one of Angela's daughters said they knew eventually the truth about what took place would come out. 

In 2000, the District Attorney's Office determined there was insufficient evidence to prosecute.

Last summer, the case was re-opened following interviews with the woman's family.

Cumbee is currently being held in the Columbus County Jail with no bond.

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