UPDATE: One of two Bolton bodies identified

By DEUCE NIVEN

     THURSDAY UPDATE: One of two bodies found in a storage building behind a home here has been identified, though the cause of death has not been determined for either, Columbus County Assistant Coroner William Hannah said Wednesday.
    Donna Lee Gore, 55, was one of two women living in the house at 2320 Blacksmith Road. Deputies went to the home Monday night after a family member reported the second woman, Jeanette Nancy Thut, 74, as missing, Sheriff Lewis Hatcher said in a news release Tuesday.
    Both bodies were badly decomposed, Hannah said, the women likely dead for “several days.”
    Officials at the Office of the State Medical Examiner are working to determine if the second body is that of Thut, or someone else, Hannah said. Family members told detectives that Thut was last ween on Oct. 24.
    Hannah said he believes the women were related, Gore possibly a niece of Thut.
    Detectives have released no new information, and plan to withhold some autopsy information at least until they locate “persons of interest” in the case, Hannah said.
    Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Detective Division at 910-642-6551.

    TUESDAY P.M. UPDATE: Bodies recovered in the Bolton storage building Monday night appeared to be white females, and were so badly decomposed that it was not possible to immediately determine their age, Columbus County Assistant Coroner William Hannah said.
    Thut and another woman lived in the home on Blacksmith Road, Hannah said. He could not identify the second woman, or say if she was related to Thut, but Hannah said that woman has not been located elsewhere.
    Dental records and other methods will be used in efforts to identify the bodies, Hannah said. That is likely to take some time.
    “We may have something today on cause of death,” Hannah said. “I don’t think we will have positive identification today.”
    Thut may have been a relative of John T. Thut, 96, a Bangor, Maine tucking company owner who was living in Bolton prior to his death in January 2006 at the age of 96.
    Hannah said a “Thut Express” truck was parked in the Blacksmith Road yard. John Thut’s obituary, published in the Bangor Daily News, indicated three daughters who were survivors but were not named.

8:40 a.m. post
    Two decomposing bodies were discovered inside a residential storage building as officers looked into a missing persons report late Monday, a Columbus County Sheriff’s Office news release said.
    Deputies responded to the home at 2320 Blacksmith Road, just northeast of Bolton, (location corrected from earlier post) “as a follow-up” to a report that Jeanette Nancy Thut, 74, had not been seen by family members since Oct. 24, the news release said.
    Foul play is suspected in the deaths of both individuals. Investigators worked through the early morning today processing the scene and collecting evidence.
    Autopsies are to be conducted today in Raleigh. Neither victim have been identified, the news release said.
    “Persons of interest have been identified and are being sought for questioning,” the news release said.
    Anyone with information on this case is asked to contact the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office Detective Division at 910-642-6551.

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