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Pet duck helps police find body of grandmother in North Carolina

April 28 (UPI) -- A pet duck helped police this month find the body of a grandmother in North Carolina.

The police search began when the grandmother, Nellie Sullivan, who would have been 93 if she were still alive today, went missing two years ago.

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Police found Sullivan's body earlier this month at a home in Candler, N.C., WLOS-TV reported.

Sgt. Mark Walker told WLOS-TV that the pet duck led detectives to the grandmother's body.

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"Apparently, the duck ran underneath the trailer at 11 Beady Lane, and as they were chasing after their pet duck, they ran across the container that Nellie Sullivan was located in," Walker said. "If I could give that duck a medal, I would."

Since then, Sullivan's granddaughter, Angela Wamsley, 46, and Mark Alan Barnes, 50, have been charged with first-degree murder in the death of Sullivan, a statement from the Buncombe County Sheriff's Office posted to Facebook shows.

Wamsley and Barnes were also charged last year with concealing a death, and were previously arrested on various charges, such as animal cruelty and drug possession.

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Walker told WLOS-TV that the couple continued to collect Sullivan's Social Security and retirement benefits and filled her prescriptions, and he was shocked by their disregard for the grandmother who suffered from health issues, including dementia.

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"Instead of receiving the care she needed from those that are supposed to love her the most, she received the exact opposite in the worst possible way," Walker said.

"Her remains have been sent to an anthropologist for further examination just so we can try to nail down exactly how long she's been deceased," Walker added. "We do know it was multiple years."

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