First Posted: 1/15/2009
Was a popular nurse at Southeastern Regional.
Blood inside house belonged to suicide victim
LUMBERTON -- More than a year after a Lumberton nurse killed herself, investigators have determined that the blood found throughout Lolly Sampson's house had not been taken from the hospital where she worked. The blood belonged to Sampson, and investigators say she may have been storing it.
Sheriff's Capt. Franklin Lovett said investigators believe Sampson staged the grisly, blood-smeared scene they found when they discovered her body on May 2, 2002, in her Lakewood Estates home. Her partially nude body was found in a bathtub with a knife nearby.
Sampson bled to death from a severe cut to her left arm.
Initially, investigators believed that Sampson might have been the victim of a grisly murder. But within days, they theorized that the fatal wound had been self-inflicted. That conclusion was supported by a July 2002 autopsy.
Lovett believes that Sampson must have been storing her blood and had scattered it about the house before injuring herself. He said all the samples of blood taken from the home and tested belonged to Sampson.
“Medically and clinically, she could not have cut herself, walked around the house, got in the bathtub and died,” he said. He said that evidence shows that “at the point in time the incision was made to her arm, she was laying down in a prone position in the bathtub.”
Sampson was a registered nurse at Southeastern Regional Medical Center. Hospital officials did not want to comment on the finding that the blood had not been taken from Southeastern Regional. Spokesman Ann Stephens did say that Sampson was a popular and valuable employee who is missed.
Lovett said that “the whys” of Sampson's suicide “will never be answered.” According to Sheriff's Office, Sampson had at least one episode of depression.
Lovett said it was impossible to determine how much blood was smeared throughout the house, but investigators have categorized it as “enormous.”
“If you take a blood-soaked cloth or garment and wipe and squeeze and smear, that will go a long way,” he said. “To say she drew a pint of blood or something like that, we can't say an exact amount, to make all these markings.”
Lovett said an investigation determined that no one else had entered the bloody house that night and then left.
“We looked at every angle, from satanic cults to everything,” he said. “We found no consistency with any of that. I just think it was an alert to us or the individual coming up of what remains to be seen on the inside. The more we looked at it, it was a warning or attention getting.”
Lovett also released for the first time information about a trash can inside the house that had been on fire and then put out with a fire extinguisher. He said that Sampson's fingerprints were on the extinguisher. Tests were unable to determine whether an object inside the trash can had been used to store blood.
Lovett said it took more than a year for the state to process the lab results because the agency is already short-staffed and backlogged. It was also low priority because it was a suicide and not a murder.