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Reward offered for info in Maysville woman's death

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MAYSVILLE, N.C. - The former employer of a Maysville woman, whose body was found in a field last month, is now offering a reward for information in her mysterious death.

Greg Carpitano says he's putting up $5,000 for information that helps solve the case involving 48-year-old Elizabeth Rhoades.

Rhoades' went missing on February 10th.
A fisherman found her body two weeks later on a hill near Highway 17 in Maysville.
Rhoades worked for Carpitano at Gregg's Auto Salvage. Carpitano says he was with Rhoades the night she was last seen.
Court records show the two had a verbal altercation before she left his house to walk home.
We're still waiting on a final autopsy report from the medical examiner that may help explain how Rhoades died.

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New details are surfacing about a Jones County woman's final moments before she went missing two weeks ago.

Someone fishing found the body of 48-year-old Elizabeth Bethany Rhoades on a hill near U.S. 17 in Maysville on Sunday. She went missing February 10.

Gregg Carpitano, Rhoades' friend and employer, says he was the last person to see her before she went missing.

That afternoon Carpitano says the two ran errands at the Piggly Wiggly in Maysville, the ABC store in Pollocksville, and the Handy Mart in Maysville, buying dog food and cigarettes.

That evening at his house, he says she started drinking and getting belligerent. Court records show a "verbal altercation" happened between the two. Carpitano says Rhoades spilled a beer and told her she had to leave.

Between 6 and 6:30 PM, he says Rhoades left his house, which is next to his business, Gregg's Auto Salvage.

Carpitano says she usually walks from her job to her house a mile and a half away. But she never made it. Her body was found a fifth of a mile away from where she was last seen.

Song and prayer are helping Rhoades' family cope with her loss.

"I can't say it enough. I'm going to miss her," said Marcelline Jones, who calls herself Rhoades' adoptive mom.

Jones says she treated Rhoades as her own daughter. She says she's known Rhoades for about 15 years when she moved from Texas to Maysville with her best friend, Jones' daughter Melinda.

"Can't nobody say nothing but something good about her. She was sweet to everybody," said Jones.

Carpitano says the State Bureau of Investigations interviewed him about Rhoades. Carpitano believes he is one of their prime suspects because he was one of the last people who saw Rhoades before she went missing. But he has his own theory about what happened to her.

"A wild guess would be that she was walking up the road going home, and somebody offered her a ride and she got in the car with somebody and disappeared," said Carpitano.

Maysville police chief C.R. Baugus, Jr. says search teams checked the very hill Rhoades was found on the week she went missing, but didn't see her.

Rhoades' friends and family think her body wasn't sitting on the hill for very long because if so, somebody would have probably seen it from the highway.

Carpitano says if somebody did put Rhoades' body on the hill, it must not have been someone local.

"The road 100 feet back goes a mile and a half into a rock quarry. If you wanted to dispose of a body, you would go into the rock quarry. She would never have been found," said Carpitano.

Rhoades' friends say it's possible she died from natural causes. But if it was foul play, they have this message for the person responsible.

"You need to come up and do what is necessary, because God going find you, Buddy," said Karen Frost, Rhoades' friend.

Baugus says an autopsy will be done this week. He said he did not know when or where it would happen.

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The death of a Jones County woman is officially considered suspicious.

Detectives with the State Bureau of Investigation combed the area where the woman's body was discovered on a hill near the White Oak River Campground on Sunday.

Police identified the woman as 48-year-old Elizabeth Bethany Rhoades from Maysville, reported missing February 10th.

"I don't know if she was murdered, if she was killed, stabbed, shot, or whatever. All I know is Bethany is dead," said Gregg Carpitano, victim's employer.

Carpitano is Rhoades' employer. He owns Gregg's Auto Salvage, where Rhoades occasionally helped out around the store.

"She'd sweep the floor," he said. "She'd feed the dogs."

Court records show Carpitano told Maysville police he got into a verbal altercation with her at work the day she went missing.

Carpitano says Rhoades was getting belligerent, that she was drinking and she wanted to bring his dogs inside his house next door, which he doesn't allow. He says she knocked over a beer, and that's when he told her she had to go home.

She was last seen walking north on Highway 17.

"She was walking home like she normally does and Tuesday morning her mother calls me and says can I talk to Bethany? I said, what do you mean? She said she didn't come home last night," said Carpitano.

The SBI is investigating anybody who might know anything about what happened, including Jack Holland, who says he saw her the day she went missing.

"She was in front of Gregg's garage handling firewood," said Jack Holland, interviewed by SBI.

Family and friends describe Rhoades as a great person who loved her family and her pets.

The Maysville police chief calls the death suspicious. An autopsy will take place later this week.

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Authorities say a body found Sunday morning in Maysville near the White Oak River Campground is that of Bethany Rhoades, a woman who went missing almost two weeks ago.

Rhoades' friends and family say they can't understand how this happened. And they're just hoping to get some answers, including who is responsible for her death.
Rhoades worked at Gregg's Auto Salvage.
Her boss tells 9 On Your Side he found out she was missing after getting a call from her family members, asking if she was still at his house.
For Rhoades' family, the news that her body was found was extremely difficult to take.

"There's nothing I can say about her but good things," said Melinda Williams, family member. "I loved her. She was my best friend. She was like my daughter. She was everything to me."

Investigators are still working the case, trying to figure out what led to Rhoades' death.

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The town of Maysville Officials tell 9 On Your Side a body was found in Maysville Sunday, February 23rd.

Maysville Police, Jones County Sheriff's and Onslow County Sheriff's are responding to the scene. The State Bureau of Investigation has been called in to help with the investigation. Multiple agencies are assisting with the investigation because the body was found on the Jones, Onslow County line on land near the White Oak River Campground.

Officials have not released an identity, as the case is an on-going investigation. However, family members tell 9 On Your Side the victim is Elizabeth "Bethany" Rhoades. Rhoades, 48,  was reported missing by Maysville Police on February 10th. She was last seen around 5 p.m. walking north on U.S. Highway 17 in Maysville. Rhoades walked that road home from her job at Gregg's Auto Salvage.

Police tell 9 On Your Side this is an on-going, criminal investigation.  Information is limited at this time. WNCT will bring you more information as soon as it becomes available.
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