Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hendersonville, NC: Hendersonville husband charged in wife's death

HENDERSONVILLE — Michael Leroy Wilkie
has been arrested and charged with the
murder of his wife, Shelby Anne Wilkie, the
Henderson County Sheriff's Office
announced Thursday night.

Authorities said in a news release that they
found remains “believed to be that of
Shelby Anne Wilkie.”

The remains will be sent to Chapel Hill for
an autopsy today.

"The evidence seized as a result of the
warrants as well as other information
obtained during the investigative process
led detectives to the discovery of several
crime scenes and remains believed to be
that of Shelby Anne Wilkie," the release

Earlier Thursday, rescue personnel used
boats to comb the French Broad River as
the search continued for the woman who
was reported missing by her family.

“Investigators received information from
numerous sources which raised suspicions
about Michael Wilkie’s truthfulness
concerning the reported disappearance of
his wife,” the sheriff’s office said in the
release. “Detectives developed additional
information that led to probable cause that
a crime had been committed. In a matter
of hours search warrants were issued and
multiple vehicles and properties in
Henderson County were searched.”

In addition to the river, sheriff’s deputies
and agents with the State Bureau of
Investigation searched the Wilkie home on
Moody Street off U.S. 64 west of

Court records show the woman brought
domestic violence charges against her
husband, the last time in March when she
was pregnant with their child, who is now 3
months old.

Sheriff’s Office Capt. Jerry Rice said
investigators decided to search the river
after receiving tips generated from media
coverage of the case.

The Henderson County Rescue Squad
launched two boats at Westfeldt Park just
off Airport Road in Fletcher around noon
Thursday, said the squad’s chief, Jimmy
Brissie. One boat was sent upstream and

the other went downstream, he said. A N.
C. Highway Patrol helicopter also surveyed
that section of the river.

The park is 1.3 miles down the highway
from J&S Cafeteria, where Shelby Wilkie’s
black Ford Escape was discovered parked
Wednesday. The vehicle was towed to the
Sheriff’s Office impound for processing.

An SBI mobile crime unit vehicle was
parked outside the Wilkie residence
Thursday afternoon as deputies and agents
carried bagged items out of the brick

Kenneth Redden, who lives next door, said
the Wilkies mostly kept to themselves and
he never heard anything unusual coming
from the house.

“Everything is just as quiet as a church
mouse,” he said before news of the
charges against the husband. “I always
thought Mike was a really quiet, easygoing
guy. It surprised me that this
(disappearance) happened.”

Shelby Wilkie, 38, twice obtained domestic
violence protection orders against her
husband, according to Henderson County
court records. Both were voluntarily

In the first, served on Oct. 31, 2010, she
complained that Michael Wilkie
“intentionally dumped my dog on the side
of Highway 25.” She also said he restrained
her and tried to pull her wedding rings off
her finger, breaking her fingernail and
scratching her arm, according to the

In another complaint filed March 30, Wilkie
said he slammed her down on a bed
during an argument. When she got free and
tried to call 911, “he tore the phone out of
my hand and the base from the wall,” then
threw a cell phone against the wall.

“I am 12 weeks pregnant,” she said. “He
continued to forcibly hold me down and
wrestle me on the bed,” she said.

A previous wife of Michael Wilkie filed a
domestic violence complaint against him in
1998, according to court records. That
charge also was voluntarily dismissed.

Wilkie told the Citizen-Times Wednesday
that he last saw his wife when she left
Monday morning for her job as assistant
business manager at Asheville Radio
Group, and that he hadn’t heard from her

He said he saw his wife’s brother on

Monday, and the brother told him family
members “hadn’t been able to get in touch
with her.”

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