Picture courtesy of the French family
Picture courtesy of the French family
Reidsville, NC -- Folks who knew the couple killed in a weekend home invasion in Rockingham County were still stunned Monday at the loss of two people who everyone enjoyed.
Sheriff Sam Page didn't have much to say about who killed Troy and LaDonna French or why they shot them in their home in the Bethany community. He and his deputies are keeping the details of the investigation close to their vests. But the surprise and sympathy for what happened are spreading.
"The area is so quiet, we very seldom have any problems in that particular area of the county," Sheriff Page said Monday. "So when I got the call, I was pretty shocked."
Even he is having a hard time making sense of what happened to the French family. The fact he knew both Troy and LaDonna personally makes this investigation a little different.
"It hits you more [in the heart]," he said. "It hits you more [in the heart]. But we still have that obligation in this case to find who's responsible and bring this person to justice."
Everyone around here has a different story about why they loved the French family. But they all have one hope: for investigators to catch who killed them.
Dr. Mark Shapiro and his staff are among the many people in shock. LaDonna worked for Shapiro Eye Care in both Greensboro and Reidsville. Wreaths hung at both offices in her memory.
"It was just her personality," Dr. Shapiro said of what made LaDonna so engaging. "[She was] very outgoing, very bubbly. Especially in our Reidsville office, she knew everybody."
And everybody knew how much she and Troy loved their favorite college team. Their Tar Heel pride was always on display.
"They loved Carolina," Dr. Shapiro said. "[Troy] would wear his blue Carolina hat every Tuesday" when he joined the Reidsville office staff for lunch.
A wreath was also hanging outside the Duke Energy operation center in Reidsville in Troy's memory. It has a big Carolina Blue bow in the middle of it, because Troy's coworkers wanted to honor his dedication to the Tar Heels.
While there is much sadness about what happened, there is plenty of speculation and rumor, too. Sheriff Page and his investigators hear all the rumors, including those on social media. And they're tracking down the answers to the questions everyone is asking.
There's one most-uncomfortable question every investigator has to ask in every murder case: "Was anyone in the family involved?" So far, Sheriff Page won't eliminate that as a possibility here.
"Our investigators are looking at all information and all leads and they're following up on those," the sheriff said. "Our investigators are currently working any and all information and until I've been briefed and receive information that there is an identified suspect and someone is going to be arrested, it would be inappropriate for me to make any comment.
"So at this time, I'll just say they're communicating with a lot of people pertaining to the family and talking to a lot of sources."
WFMY News 2 realizes the family is coping with a great deal of pain and has no intentions of adding to it with that question. But investigators say they won't leave any stone unturned.
Deputies haven't identified a suspect yet, but once again said the only description of the man who ran away from the scene is that he was wearing a dark hoodie and dark pants. Investigators don't have any information about a getaway vehicle, either.
The sheriff says until someone is arrested, he understands why people feel on edge. But he said his deputies have stepped up patrols in that part of the county and he's confident they'll find whoever tore apart this family.
Family members finalized funeral arrangements late Monday afternoon. A visitation is scheduled for 4-8 p.m. Tuesday and the funeral will be held at 3 p.m. Wednesday. Both will take place at the Reidsville Christian Church, which is at 2020 South Park Drive.
WFMY News 2