- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

PLYMOUTH, N.C. (AP) - The sheriff’s office in Washington County says a man has been arrested and charged in the rape and murder of a 69-year-old woman.

Sheriff Johnny Barnes said 23-year-old Alexander Simpson was arrested Tuesday night. Barnes says Simpson’s arrest came after a joint investigation by his deputies and the State Bureau of Investigation.

Simpson is charged with an open count of murder and first-degree sex offense. He appeared before a Washington County judge Wednesday, and his bond was set at $2 million. Simpson was assigned a court-appointed attorney, but the Capital Defender’s office said that attorney hasn’t been formally notified.

Barnes said the body of Mary Swain was found last Friday inside a vehicle in the town of Roper. An autopsy said she died from blunt force trauma to the head.

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