2509 Brown Road

Chickens walk around in the yard of 2509 Brown Road in Hurdle Mills Monday morning. The body of Anne H. Kirkpatrick was found in the front yard on Sunday afternoon. 

A woman was found dead in her front yard Sunday afternoon and later identified as Anne H. Kirkpatrick, 46, who lived at 2509 Brown Road.  

A deputy who lived nearby drove past the house and saw Kirkpatrick’s body in the front yard.

Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood said in the release that Kirkpatrick’s family had been contacted.

“The victim’s family has been notified, allowing us to make her name and address public,” the release states. “We understand the community’s desire to know more information; however, we are unable to provide additional details at this time. This is necessary to protect the integrity of the investigation.

A friend was on scene Monday morning tending to the myriad farm animals on the property, which included no fewer than 4 horses, 2 dogs, several goats, and dozens of chickens. The friend said the victim’s mother had asked her to look after the animals upon learning of her daughter’s death. 

The friend spoke briefly to news outlets, including the News of Orange County, about what she remembered about Anne H. Kirkpatrick. 

“She was full of life and she was an animal lover,” she said. “She was very dedicated [to her animals]. Even when she didn’t have money for herself she fed her animals first.” 

A neighbor on scene was communicating with the woman charged with taking care of the animals to perhaps help find homes for some of the larger livestock. He said he and his family go back hundreds of years in the Hurdle Mills area. 

“We are all shocked,” he said. “We’ve all lost our innocence a bit here, because we haven’t had any homicides that I can recall here in [at least] decades.”

Orange County Sheriff's Office Deputy Zach Baldwin is leading the investigation in the case and can be reached at 919-245-2939 with any information that could be useful to the case.