Sheriff: 'Striking similarities' between cases after man arrested in 2 murders, decades apart

UNION COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A Union County man was arrested Tuesday morning in connection with two murders that occurred 24 years apart.

Eddie Clyde Helms, 61, was arrested around 6:30 a.m. Tuesday morning outside of his home.

Helms was charged in the August 2012 murder of Charles Ronald Godwin and an open Anson County murder case from November 1988. The victim in the 1988 Anson County case is John Terow Griffin III, of Peachland, NC.

The NC SBI and deputies have been working the Goodwin case since co-workers found him inside his home on Holly School Road in 2012. That murder happened around the same time as a triple murder and a double murder in an unincorporated area outside of Marshville, all three were unrelated.

Union County Sheriff Eddie Cathey says while detectives were investigating the 2012 murder case, they found evidence identifying Helms as a suspect in the 1988 Anson County murder case as well. That case was reopened.

"The joint effort with SBI shows what happens when law enforcement agencies share information and make concerted efforts to cooperate with each other," said Sheriff Cathey.

Investigators say the two cases have "several striking similarities."

Both came in the wake of several other unrelated murders that year and both involve the victim being shot in the back, in what the Sheriff described as "a most cowardly manner."

"The victims never saw their attacker as he crept up on them in the dark, mortally wounding both with a shotgun blast," Sheriff Cathey said.

Investigators have not disclosed a motive for the two cases, but Sheriff Cathey did say it is believed anger and jealousy played a key role in both cased.

Helms has also been charged for allegedly stalking Charles Godwin and also a female acquaintance identified in the case.

Helms has been charged with first degree murder, shooting into an occupied dwelling and two counts of stalking in the Union County case.

He is also facing first degree murder charges have been filed in the Anson County case.

He is being held in the Union County Jail without bond pending a court date of September 22, 2014 for the Anson County charge, and September 30 for his Union County offenses.

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