Officers pinpointing last time Deborah Lovelace was seen “secure”

Additional search warrants issued Wednesday
Jan. 10, 2013 @ 05:25 AM

SANDY MUSH — On Wednesday, several sheriff’s detectives and officers returned to the original crime scene off Greene Road Wednesday where Ryan and Deborah Lovelace lived with their child. 

Rutherford County Sheriff Chris Francis talked with Captain Jeff Buchanan and Detective Kelly Aldridge at the scene regarding additional information regarding Mrs. Lovelace’s whereabouts.

According to Francis, she has not been seen since either Friday or Saturday. On Monday the body of Ryan Heath Lovelace was discovered near a residence off Rambling Road. He had apparently taken his own life, suffering from a gunshot wound to the head.

Sheriff’s officers were first alerted of possible foul play on Monday at 4 p.m. when a member of the sheriff’s department was called by a Lovelace family member stating “foul play” was occurring with the family. Officers took the information and began to search the Greene Road home as well as a residence off of East Flat Road and Rambling Road for any evidences of any foul play. At about 12:36 a.m. Tuesday morning they heard gunshot wounds in the area of Rambling Road. About six hours later, officers discovered the body of Ryan Lovelace.

“Now we are trying to pinpoint the last time she was safe,” Francis said standing outside the house where they lived. 

Officers obtained additional search warrants on Wednesday and returned to the scene, this time searching two homes.

According to Francis the couple lived in one home and the house next door was owned by Lovelace’s late father. It appears Lovelace had been doing some renovation work at the second home.

“We’re doing a more thorough check today ... trying to find that time when she was okay.”

Since Lovelace’s body was discovered on Tuesday at 12 p.m., officers were looking for different kinds of evidences.

Francis said “from the very start, the informant said there was foul play ... we’re looking at the worst case scenario.”

He said the outcome, “doesn’t look good.”

On Tuesday when the sheriff’s department and North Carolina Highway Patrol air unit was searching the areas, Chase High, Chase Middle and Forrest Hunt schools took precautionary safety measures at the schools. They were lifted as Lovelace’s body was discovered.

The couple has an elementary school age child who, according to Francis, is with family members and is “safe.”