Investigation continues into double murder

Date Published: 
January 17, 2014

Delaware State Police homicide detectives this week were conducting an investigation into the murder of two Millsboro men after the men were found dead inside of a Millsboro residence early Tuesday morning.

Police were called to the residence on Harmons Mill Road on Jan. 14 at 1:08 a.m., after a family member of one of the victims, Cletis. T. Nelson, 29, found his body and that of 27-year-old William Hopkins.

According to the DSP, the family member had been unable to contact Nelson and went to the residence, where they found the two deceased victims and contacted DSP.

“Both victims were pronounced dead inside of the residence,” said Sgt. Paul Shavack, director of public information for the Delaware State Police.

The bodies were to be removed from the residence, where the two men where living, and turned over to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for a determination of the exact cause and manner of their death.

According to police, there was no indication of forced entry into the home, and they had no information on any suspects in the case.

“It does not appear to be a random act, at this time,” said Shavack. “But the investigation is dynamic and ongoing, with further information to be released as the investigation progresses and it becomes available.”

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner classified the cause and manner of death of both victims as a double homicide, with both victims suffering multiple gunshot wounds to the upper body.

“[Some] details we may withhold,” Shavack noted. “I don’t want to speculate in this case, but in similar cases our investigators withhold some of those details as to not compromise any ongoing interviews or future interviews. Some of those details, the suspect may only know. Once they’re satisfied that we’re able to release that information, we’ll release it.”

Police have released very few details surrounding the murders, which Shavack said is due to the ongoing investigation.

“This is considered an active and ongoing investigation by the Delaware State Police Homicide Unit. Detectives have been given assignments, and there is a considerable amount of work and interviews to be conducted to determine the circumstances surrounding this incident. We are actively engaged with the investigation, following leads and conducting interviews. I do not want to jeopardize any of these efforts by discussing the investigative details.”

Police said they will rely on investigative measures, as well as the public’s help, to identify those who may be involved in the murders.

“We start with the preliminary information and the investigative evidence and look at that. Also, tips from the public help us out a lot. We also have other investigative measures or tools that we utilize to track down the suspect.”

Shavack added that it is important for citizens to keep a watchful eye on their homes and community, and report any suspicious activity that may be occurring.

“We continue to remind the public that the first priority to reducing the risk of becoming a victim of crime is becoming aware of your surroundings. Utilize situational awareness when out and about, but also at home. We remind the pubic, do not answer the door to strangers. Be on the lookout for suspicious activity, in and around your home and your neighborhood.

“Call police to report any suspicious activity,” he urged. “Don’t hesitate to do that.”

Police asked that anyone who has any information regarding the incident contact the Delaware State Police Homicide Unit’s Detective Fred Chambers, at (302) 388-0196 or by using the Delaware State Police Mobile Crime Tip Application, available to download at, www.delaware.gov/apps. Information can also be provided to the Delaware Crime Stoppers at 1-800-TIP-3333 or online at www.tipsubmit.com. Anonymous tips may also be sent by text, to 274637 (CRIMES) using the keyword “DSP.”