Man arrested in connection with murder of 53-year-old Rowan County woman

- Rowan County deputies have charged a Kannapolis man overnight with the murder of a 53-year-old woman.

The man, identified as Donald Lee Frye, 50, has been arrested for robbery with a dangerous weapon and the first-degree murder of Sheila Godfrey.

Rowan County Sheriff’s Office detectives and Kannapolis police detectives executed a search warrant at Frye’s house around 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, May 3. 

Frye is a registered sex offender and was recently released from jail after serving time on a probation violation. He was identified quickly as a result of the public’s help from FOX 46 Charlotte's media coverage.

Godfrey was brutally murdered in her home on Thursday evening, April 27, 2017. The investigation revealed this crime was not random, and that Frye did know the victim.  

Frye also stole Godfrey's vehicle and financial cards during the crime.

Photos were released by police Tuesday showing images of the man they were looking for and believed may know something about the murder.

In the images, he was captured on camera at several different Kannapolis stores. 

"I'm just blown away by the events that happened and to know it can happen right here. It's just unreal," said neighbor Jimmy Miller. 

According to the Rowan County Sheriff's Office, Godfrey's body was discovered in her home Friday of last week. Police say she may have been dead since Thursday.

RelatedMan being sought after woman found dead in Rowan County

Miller who lives just two doors down from Godfrey has known her nearly three decades. 

"She was friendly and kind of stayed to herself for the most part," he said. 

Godfrey's Chevy truck was found at Super Speedwash in Salisbury on Thursday. Deputies say Frye appeared to have driven her car to a local laundromat too.

Miller had a message for the person responsible for her death.

"I would hope his conscious is eating at him. This type of thing shouldn't happen to anybody," Miller said. 

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