Police find body of missing Johnston County woman a day after charging suspect with murder

Kenneth Wayne Lamm
Kenneth Wayne Lamm Johnston County Sheriff's Office

Authorities from Johnston and Wilson counties on Thursday morning uncovered what they believe is the body of a 71-year-old woman who has been missing for two weeks.

The Johnston County Sheriff’s Office said Kenneth Wayne Lamm, 50, of Wilson was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder in the death of Kathy Thomas, 71.

“Investigators believe they have located the body of Ms. Thomas in a shallow grave” on East Harper Street in Wilson, the Johnston County Sheriff’s Office said.

The property is where Lamm lives, the statement said.

The body was being taken to the State Medical Exaxaminer’s Office for an autopsy, the sheriff’s office said.

A missing-person investigation began after deputies went to the Thomas’ home in Kenly on Nov. 30 to check on her and could not find her, the sheriff’s office said.

Kathy Thomas Johnston County Sheriff's Office

The sheriff’s office was asked to check on Thomas on the evening of Nov. 30, according to an incident report. Deputies had been called by a Kenly resident who lives about a half-mile away.

According to the report, the last time Thomas was known to be alive and well was a week earlier, on the evening of Nov. 23.