By DEUCE NIVEN
Two unrelated murders marred the holidays near Tabor City, with a quick confession and arrest in one instance, a suspect still on the run Christmas night in the other, a news release from Columbus County Sheriff Chris Batten said.
Killed about 1:15 a.m. on Christmas Eve was Rebecca Ann Buffkin, 46, of 980 Wright Road east of Tabor City.
Almost 24 hours later, about 12:26 a.m. on Christmas day, Gilberto Antonio Segovia, 51, was found shot to death at the bottom of the front steps of his 988 John Coleman Road home, west of Tabor City.
Buffkin’s boyfriend, Beamon Fowler, 60, of 1796B Sandy Plains Church Road, called 911 to report the shooting, was outside the home when deputies arrived, and told them he shot Buffkin in the head with her own handgun during an argument.
Deputies found Buffkin in the kitchen, “lying in a puddle of blood that was coming from her head and a gun lying on the table with two spent shell casings lying on the floor,” the report by Deputy Justin McPherson said.
An autopsy conducted in Chapel Hill on Monday confirmed a gunshot wound to the head as Buffkin’s cause of death.
Fowler was charged with murder and held at the Columbus County Detention Center in Whiteville without bond.
Some information regarding the shooting death of Segovia is being withheld, including the initial incident report, “due to the sensitive info on it,” Capt. David Nobles said.
An ex-boyfriend of Segovia’s girlfriend, Amy Jane Wilson, 35, and two associates are being sought in the murder, Nobles said. Investigators are not publicly identifying their suspects, Nobles said.
Wilson was “forcefully removed from the home during the incident” by the ex-boyfriend, the news release said. “Wilson escaped unharmed a few minutes later.