Q. I am wondering why police have not checked into Mr. Mott concerning the murder of the girl that was on his property and also Ms. Vannewkirk? An article in the paper said he had a relationship with Ms. Vannewkirk. I think they need to broaden their scope.
A. The police did investigate Steve Mott, the owner of Motts Roofscaping and Landscaping, who was described in a May 15 StarNews story as being Shannon Rippy Vannewkirk’s “on-again-off-again boyfriend.” That story includes testimony by Mott during a probable cause hearing which resulted in a New Hanover County District Court judge deciding there was enough evidence to continue to detain James Bradley although there’s no proof Vannewkirk is dead.
Carlos Lamberty, the Wilmington Police Department’s lead detective in the case, testified that Mott was forthcoming with information and, in fact, gave investigators access to the field where Elisha Tucker’s body was found.
Focus quickly shifted toward Bradley who initially denied any contact with Vannewkirk on April 5, which phone records and traffic cameras later proved false. Bradley later told police he had picked Vannewkirk up and had an argument with her in the Greenfield Lake area, at which point, he claimed, she fled his vehicle.
Lamberty and Kevin Tully, another WPD investigator, each testified Bradley said during an interview with police that he was the last person to see Vannewkirk alive.
Date posted: May 19, 2014
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