• Elderly couple found dead inside rural Alexander Co. home

    By: Dave Faherty


    ALEXANDER COUNTY, N.C. - Crime scene tape surrounds a rural Alexander County home after detectives discovered an elderly couple dead inside.

    They believe their bodies may have been there for weeks.

    Investigators are not releasing the circumstances of their deaths.

    Sheriff deputies said they first went to the home Monday after someone called them concerned about the couple.

    When they got to the home, they said nobody answered the door, but they could hear dogs inside.

    The sheriff decided to find a way in because nobody had heard from the couple since before Christmas.

    “We did some checking with banks and local restaurants and no one had seen them for approximately two weeks,” said Alexander County Sheriff Chris Bowman.

    Deputies climbed through a window and found the body of Betty Jean Quakenbush in the garage behind a car.

    They located the body of her husband, Robert, in a closet that held a water heater.

    Firefighters tested the air quality and found no sign of carbon monoxide.

    Neighbors said the couple kept to themselves and at one point even painted their windows black, making it impossible to see in.

    “You don’t see them and the windows are sealed up. You don’t know if they are OK or not because they rarely have visitors,” said neighbor Butch Mullen.

    Deputies got a search warrant Tuesday afternoon in case there was foul play.

    Deputies hope autopsies provide some clues to what happened.

    Deputies told Channel 9 they are trying to reach possible relatives who live in Florida.

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