Durham News

Suspect told roommate of Wilkins’ murder, warrant states

Murder suspect Andrew Koko Scheper told his apartment mate that he had killed a man, cut off the man’s head and disposed of the body in a pond, according to a police search warrant.

Scheper, 30, was arrested Jan. 27 and charged with killing Trinity James Wilkins, 38, of Durham, who was also known as Trinity Smith. Scheper is being held in the Durham County Jail without bail, and has a court date Feb. 17.

Police have not disclosed a possible motive, or whether they have found Wilkins’ head.

Wilkins’ body was discovered Jan. 19 by volunteers with the Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association, who were cleaning a pond behind the Compare Foods shopping center off Avondale Drive, near Club Boulevard.

Wilkins’ family had reported him missing on Jan. 15. Investigators found a previous address for him at 412 E. Club Blvd., according to the warrant, which was issued Jan. 20. A resident at that address identified as G. Thompson told police that he and Scheper had shared an apartment in the house, and that Scheper had told him about the killing two weeks earlier.

Thompson, according to the warrant, said he had not seen Scheper since the body was discovered. Scheper was arrested in Carrboro after Durham police named him as the suspect.

Police seized DNA swabs, bedding, towels, papers, cellphones, a laptop computer, part of a door frame and other items from the house, the warrant states.

According to the warrant, a member of the cleanup crew in a kayak found Wilkins’ body floating on the north side of the pond. The body was wrapped in a large gray plastic tarp, and identification belonging to Wilkins was found on the body.