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Murder Suspect Extradited To N.J. On Drug Charges

Clifton Eugene Spencer, 31, of Columbia, believed to be a principal suspect in the Manteo slaying of New Jersey native Elizabeth Stacey Stanton, is being held in jail in Salem County, N.J. on charges of possession of drugs with the intent to sell or distribute, according to James Hefner, a spokesman for the sheriff’s department in Salem.

He was extradited from Tyrrell County Jail on March 2 and is presently being held without bail. The case has not yet been calendared for trial, Hefner said, and he is not aware any record he might have in New Jersey.

Dare County does not show any convictions either, according to the county clerk’s office, and Tyrrell County shows only minor traffic violations. The charge from New Jersey was confirmed to be for cocaine, according to Tyrrell records.

Bill Godley, district supervisor for the State Bureau of Investigation in Greenville, confirmed that there was a principal suspect, and that a drug connection had been suggested. “We have a suspect in the case, but I don’t want to say there is only one, there are always several.”

As for drug involvement III the case, he said, “There appears to be some connection.”

Despite the resignation of Manteo Police Chief Stephen Day, he indicated the case is still being pursued aggressively, that all investigators are following up leads. “The S.B.I. is an assisting agency,” he said, “our authority to work this case comes from the Manteo Police Department.”

As for responsibility for the investigation, Distract Attorney H.P. Williams said it should remain with the Manteo Police Department, but that he considers the recent resignation of Chief Stephen Day, the principal investigator in the case, as a setback.

“My position is this (the slaying) occurred in the Manteo jurisdiction, so the principal responsibility rests upon the Manteo police Department,” Williams said Tuesday.

The State Bureau of Investigation and the Dare County Sheriff’s Office are still assisting agencies, he said, ending speculation that in the wake of Day’s resignation the investigation would be turned over to the sheriff’s office.

To see the scans of the archived newspaper page where this article appeared, click here.

READ MORE ARTICLES RELATED TO THE STANTON CASE HERE.