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The Daily Tar Heel

UPDATED: Mother and son found dead in home on Deming Road

Deming Police Scene
Chapel Hill Police officers are on the scene of a death at Deming Rd.

UPDATE (Oct. 27 at 4:06 p.m.): Chapel Hill Police investigators believe Eric Gibson killed his mother Margaret Gibson, said police spokesperson Ran Northam. The autopsies and toxicologists have not been released by the medical examiner's office.

When Dirk Cotton and his family moved to their home on Deming Road in 2005, one of Margaret Gibson’s sons knocked on their door with an apple pie in hand. 

“I thought it was a really sweet thing to do. I hadn’t seen anyone do that in decades," he said. "The incident was surprisingly depressing." 

Thursday, Oct. 12, the Cottons found out their neighbors, Margaret Gibson, 86, and her son, Eric Gibson, 53, had died in their Chapel Hill home at 442 Deming Road.

A realtor found the bodies on the floor of the master bathroom. 

“There’s blood everywhere,” she told the 911 operator shortly before 4 p.m. “I just screamed and left.” 

Chapel Hill Police said there was no evidence of forced entry into the home, and believe there is no threat to the community. 

The bodies were sent to the state’s medical examiner for investigation. No further details have been released by the police at the time. 

Eric Gibson became disabled shortly after graduating with a master’s degree in history from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., according to an obituary posted by the family on Walker’s Funeral Home’s website.

Baylor Gibson III told the Herald Sun, his brother, Eric Gibson “had some psychiatric issues.” 

Neighbors said the house has been on the market for more than a year. 

County records indicate Margaret Gibson bought the property in 2001 and built the house a year later. 

“She did a marvelous job at the front yard. All of the trees and shrubs you can see and the stonework has been done by her. She was very meticulous about it,” said Cotton, who added she was often spotted with her gardening gear. 

The house is located on Deming Road off of East Franklin Street and is valued at more than $640,000 on local real estate websites. 

Margaret Gibson's late husband of 62 years, Baylor Gibson Jr., also lived in the house until his passing in 2012. He was a retired U.S. Marine Corps Colonel, and they had five sons together. 

“She was just extremely friendly, always happy, always in a good mood,” Cotton said. 

Margaret Gibson walked energetically every morning around the neighborhood and up the steep hill, Susan Outterson, a neighbor of the Gibson's said. 

She sang in the choir of St. Thomas More Catholic Church, where a Christian burial mass will be held. The family has not announced a date. She will be interred with her husband at Arlington National Cemetery.


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