AULANDER, N.C. (WNCT) — The investigation into the stabbing of two women, one who died, in Bertie County continued on Thursday. Meanwhile, the community continues to come to grips with what happened.
Lan Thi Rawles, 80, died and Rochelle Harrell, 62, who was Rawles’ caregiver, is recovering at ECU Health Medical Center. Many residents around the Aulander Community Building mourned, grieved and remembered Rawles during a vigil on Wednesday.
On Thursday, people who spoke with WNCT said Rawles was a big presence in the small town of Aulander. They shared just how much she meant to them.
“She would always come by, walk by, and give the children stuff in town. Tootsie Rolls … that’s why we called her the ‘Tootsie Roll Lady’.’,” said James Futrell. “And during Christmastime, the holidays, she would always walk by and pass out candy.”
Franklin Bonnie Jones said Rawles was selfless.
“She always walked the street,” Jones said. “And she’s one of the nicest persons you will ever meet. Nobody could say anything bad about Mrs. Rawles. Whatever she needed, she could do anything to help you, Mrs. Rawles is going to help you.”
Futrell said her death just made no sense.
“It just don’t make no sense what they did to her,” Futrell said. “Not in this little town. We were real close. Just like that there. Grew up together, worked together, and all that stuff. I don’t know why somebody had to come and do that to her.”
Futrell said he’s gonna miss her.
“She’s gonna be big missed … yep,” Futrell said.
Futrell and Jones said the town needs to come together during this moment.
“But this town, we’ve got to stick together, pull together, like the pastor said (Wednesday) night. This town has got to come together,” Futrell said.
“I just feel like we came together last night, but we need to do this often without this circumstance here,” Jones said. “This is a good community. I enjoy it. I like it and I’m going to stay right here until I go.”