Harmons Hill Road resident Charles Suydam couldn't believe the number of cars lined up along his road Tuesday morning, Jan. 14. When he heard there had been a double murder next door to his home of 10 years, he was shocked.
“It's always been a quiet neighborhood,” he said.
Suydam's neighbor agrees. "We've never had anything like this out here that I can remember," said Jackie Golder, a resident for 27 years who lives two doors away from the murder scene.
Two men - William Hopkins, 27, and Cletis T. Nelson, 29, both of Millsboro – were found dead inside a home in the 28000 block of Harmons Hill Road, said Sgt. Paul Shavack of the Delaware State Police.
Shavack said the murders do not appear to be random at this time, but more information could arise as the investigation continues.
A family member of Nelson's had grown concerned when no word from him was heard for an extended period of time, Shavack said. The family member went to the home on Harmons Hill Road to check on Nelson, found the two men dead and called police, who arrived at the scene at 1:08 a.m.
White shades covered the windows of the house, which sits on an acre of land just off the roadway. Shavack said the inside of the trailer was clean and orderly. Throughout the morning, detectives gathered evidence at the scene, including a white car that was towed from the property.
Officers placed the covered bodies on a stretcher and moved them into a van; they were taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner where the exact cause and manner of their deaths will be determined.
Julie Ennis-Hall of Lewes owns the property and said she was renting the trailer to neither Hopkins nor Nelson.
“I did not know them and was not aware of them living there,” she said.
She describes her tenant as a nice guy who was installing a new floor for the trailer; although, she said, he was on work release, and may have run into some recent trouble.
“He was completely paid up through January,” she said.
Two weeks ago, neighbor Beth Suydam said she noticed new neighbors next door. She said they were much quieter than other renters who have lived there over the years.
A dense row of trees provides a barrier between Suydam's property and the trailer. Planted years ago to give her some privacy from previous tenants, the trees prevented Suydam from seeing who was coming or going at the home. She said she heard people talking a couple of times and saw a late-model white car come and go, and that was about it.
“When I saw the nice car, I thought, well, finally it's rented to quiet people,” she said.
Police continue to investigate the double murder. Anyone with information is asked to call Det. Fred Chambers at 388-0196, call 1-800-TIP-3333, go to www.tipsubmit.com, text 274637 using keyword DSP or download an app at http://www.delaware.gov/apps/.