North Carolina Mother Murdered Son, Claimed He Committed Suicide

A North Carolina mother who told police that her son had killed himself on Christmas Day has now been arrested and charged with his murder.

Elizabeth Yarborough, 57, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder on Wednesday, Jan. 24 for the Dec. 25 shooting death of her 32-year-old son, The News & Observer reports. She was taken into police custody from her home following a month-long investigation.

On Christmas Day, Clayton Police had received a call from Yarborough stating that she needed help for her son, James Benjamin Yarborough Jr., who she said had shot himself while visiting her at her house. Officers arrived to find the 32-year-old lying just inside of the apartment with a single gunshot wound to the head.

"He was lying on the floor behind the front door of the apartment," Clayton Police Chief Blair Myhand said Wednesday afternoon. "He fell directly behind the front door. His body was blocking officers from entering."

Yarborough had initially told authorities that her son had shot himself with his own gun, claiming that his death was a suicide, but detectives were suspicious of her claims and began a more thorough investigation.

"We knew before the autopsy report that Mr. Yarborough did not shoot himself," Clayton Police Chief Blair Myhand said. "Had not the detectives put in the time, working nonstop on this case, someone would have gotten away with murder."

Authorities stated that there had been a history of domestic violence in the family, with the 57-year-old being the aggressor.

"That's part of the investigation that led to today's charges," said Myhand. "They were the only two people in the house. There was some interaction that ultimately led to the shooting. It was hard to prove intent based on statements made to us."


Authorities have not commented on a possible motive for the murder.

Yarborough remains in jail without bond. Her next court appearance is scheduled for Feb. 8.