LUMBERTON — A mother who lost two sons to murder on Monday thought it was a joke when she was first told of the deaths.
Annette Bullard, mother of Lyn Ardell Bullard, 22, of Sherman Road in Maxton, and 9-year-old Dakota Owens, could not contain her tears as she spoke to television station WPDE on Tuesday.
“I didn’t believe it at first, when I was told. I told them no, it was just a joke, you know, to move on,” Bullard said.
The mother said her sons were inseparable.
“It was like they were always as one. The best two that I had left me,” Bullard said. “I don’t know how I am going to deal with it. How can anybody do two people like that?”
Owens had been a student Oxendine Elementary School in Maxton for almost four years, said Tasha Oxendine, Public Information officer for the Public Schools of Robeson County.
“The support team at the school met before the students arrived and they were on hand to assist any students who might have needed additional counseling,” Oxendine said Wednesday.
George Marston was one of Owens’ teachers. He described the child as a mild-mannered, observant, an engaged student with a “huge sense of humor.”
“He always wanted to sit at the front of the classroom and was comfortable enough to share any concerns or questions he had with me,” Marston said Wednesday. “This is the worst thing that could happen to a teacher, the worst that could happen to any group of students and school.”
Oxendine said a funeral for Owens will be held at Oxendine Elementary. No funeral date had been announced as of Wednesday.
Walter Woodrow Locklear, 27, of Lakewood Drive in Maxton, was arrested early Tuesday and charged with two counts of first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon and burning of personal property. Locklear made his first court appearance in District Court Tuesday morning.
The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office received a call about 12:30 p.m. Monday in reference to a body located near a pond on Kalyn Drive in Maxton, off McGirt Gin Road, Sheriff Ken Sealey said in a statement. Deputies and detectives from the Sheriff’s Office’s Major Crimes Division responded.
Sealey said Bullard appeared to have been shot.
The investigation was started by members of the Robeson County Violent Crimes Task Force, Major Crimes Division detectives and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents. Investigators learned that Bullard and a 9-year-old child had gone hunting in a black Ford Ranger pickup truck.
The truck and the child were located about 5 p.m. in woods behind Lakewood Drive, off Modest Road. The child was dead. The truck had been burned.
Anyone with any information concerning this case is asked to contact the Robeson County Sheriff’s Office at 910-671-3100.
Reach Annick Joseph at 910-416-5165 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org or connect on Facebook Annick MultiMedia Journalist.