On March 15, 2022, authorities arrested 71-year-old Warren Luther Alexander for the July 7, 1992, rape and murder of 29-year-old Nona Stamey Cobb near Elkin, North Carolina. Her body was found around 6:15 am in a rural area of Surry County, just off the northbound side of the Interstate-77 highway. She had been sexually assaulted and strangled to death. Cobb had last been seen the day before at a truck stop at the Welcome Center in Cleveland County getting into a truck with an unknown male.
The case was reopened for further DNA testing in April of 2021. The FGG investigation was conducted by Colleen Fitzpatrick of Identifinders International. There is currently no information on how police made the initial confirmation.
Police suspected that Cobb may have been a victim of a serial killer named Sean Patrick Goble as he was known to attack women engaged in sex work that he picked up at truck stops in the area. He would then cross state lines and dump their bodies along different interstate highways. Goble was excluded in 1995 when his DNA profile was compared with the semen collected from Cobb’s body at her autopsy.
Cobb was from King’s Mountain, North Carolina. She was a widow who was suffering from a drug addiction, and she had recently lost custody of her 3-year-old son to her sister.
Authorities state that there are several unsolved homicides of sex workers in the area in which Goble has been eliminated as a suspect. They are now investigating whether Alexander may be responsible for some of these murders.
Jonasson, Lori. “1992 Homicide Solved Using Forensic Genetic Genealogy.” Identifinders International, March 17, 2022. Accessed March 18, 2022. https://identifinders.com/1992-homicide-solved-using-forensic-genetic-genealogy/.
Lambe, Jerry. “Mississippi Man Charged in 30-Year-Old Cold Case Murder of N.C. Woman Who Was Strangled and Left on Highway.” Law & Crime, March 17, 2022. Accessed March 18, 2022. https://lawandcrime.com/crime/mississippi-man-charged-in-30-year-old-cold-case-murder-of-n-c-woman-who-was-strangled-and-left-on-highway/.
Miller, Jax. “Man Arrested In 1992 Murder of Woman Once Thought the Victim of a Serial Killer.” Oxygen, March 18, 2022. Accessed March 18, 2022. https://www.oxygen.com/crime-news/warren-alexander-arrested-1992-murder-nona-cobb.