Police: Victim’s remains found in 2 counties

By Michael Hewlett - and John Hinton - Winston-Salem Journal


[WARNING: Some details in this story may be disturbing.]

WINSTON-SALEM — Police said a 75-year-old man was stabbed multiple times in the neck and chest before he was dismembered. According to a search warrant, his head and other body parts were found in a black duffel bag inside of the man’s house.

Winston-Salem police also said that remains found in Randolph County belong to the same 75-year-old man, John Douglas Agnew.

Adrion Demare Whorley, 31, of Rockingham, has been charged with murder and concealing the death of Agnew, according to arrest warrants.

Whorley appeared briefly in Forsyth District Court Monday afternoon, where Judge David Sipprell advised him of the charges against him and appointed the Forsyth County Public Defender’s Office to represent him. He is being held in the Forsyth County Jail with no bond allowed on the murder charge and a $100,000 bond on the concealment of a death offense. Whorley is scheduled to appear in Forsyth District Court on May 4.

According to a search warrant that a Winston-Salem police detective filed in Richmond County, Melanie Agnew Simpson, John Agnew’s daughter, last talked to her father on April 7. On April 9, a Sunday, she went by her father’s house in the 300 block of Timberline Drive. She saw that her father’s car, a 2003 Mazda Miata, was not at the house, and a hand-written note was on the front storm door.

“Not feeling well. Do not knock. Do not ring the doorbell,” the note said.

Simpson told Winston-Salem police that the handwriting was not her father’s.

Simpson returned to the house on April 10, a Monday, and called a locksmith to get into the house through the back door. Once the locksmith entered, he saw a large amount of blood in the kitchen and on the dining room carpet. Winston-Salem police were called. According to the search warrant, officers saw signs that someone had tried to clean up the scene. They also noticed a small safe on the kitchen floor.

Simpson and other family members told police that Agnew kept a .45-caliber handgun in the safe, which was typically kept in an upstairs bedroom. Officers also found a black duffel bag inside a downstairs bathroom. It contained Agnew’s arms, lower legs and head. The bag appeared to be new and had a Walmart tag on the handle, the search warrant said.

Winston-Salem police soon learned that detectives with the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office found a human torso in a wooded area off Canter Road in Randleman. The torso had been wrapped in a shower curtain and appeared to match the remains of Agnew.

Melanie Agnew Simpson sent out a statement last week about her father.

“My father, John Douglas Agnew, was a beloved father-in-law, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin and friend,” she said in the statement. “Dad was an extraordinary man with a boundless capacity for love. He extended his kindness, warmth and generosity to not only his entire family, but to those in the community as well.”

Funeral services were held Monday afternoon.

(Published with permission from the Winston-Salem Journal.)


By Michael Hewlett

and John Hinton

Winston-Salem Journal


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