LUMBERTON -- The smoking gun that could finger Myron Britt as the killer of his wife Nancy Melton Britt may be at the bottom of Jordan Lake.
According to a search warrant issued last week that allowed lawmen to search the Britt's Cary home, Britt acknowledged having the .25-caliber handgun that lawmen say was used to kill his wife, but said he tossed it into Jordan Lake, a massive manmade lake just west of Cary that touches Wake, Orange and Chatham counties.
The search warrant also suggests investigators caught Britt in a lie.
Initially, Britt told investigators that he never had the gun. But he later recanted, saying that he came into possession of the .25-caliber handgun on July 17 and he threw it into Jordan Lake on July 18 -- more than a month before his wife's murder -- because "Nancy was upset about the gun and wanted it out of the house."
Britt didn't say who gave him the gun, but he did say it once belonged to his father, Ellis Britt. The search warrant states that Myron Britt claimed he never took the gun out of its brown briefcase.
The warrant also said that SBI agents removed 39 boxes of evidence from the Britt's $538,000 Cary home Thursday, including a single, unspent .25-caliber bullet.
Jerry Weaver, in charge of the Southeast Division of the State Bureau of Investigation, said the SBI isn't looking for the murder weapon.
"The area we would have to search is so vast it wouldn't do us any good," Weaver said. "If we can somehow get the scope of the search area narrowed down, we might do a search."
The fact that the SBI didn't find a weapon during the search doesn't concern Robeson County District Attorney Johnson Britt. The district attorney and Myron Britt are not related.
"We can successfully prosecute without the murder weapon," Britt said.
Another potentially incriminating element found in the search warrant was Myron Britt's admission that he took out the most recent of four insurance policies on his wife -- a $400,000 policy with State Farm -- in the spring.
There were four insurance policies worth between $800,000 and $900,000 in Nancy Britt's name and Myron Britt's contracting business was in financial trouble, the district attorney said. The Raleigh News and Observer reported in Saturday's edition that the couple had nearly $1.28 million in active loans.
Nancy Britt, 49, was murdered during the early morning of Aug. 23. She was shot through the chest at the home of her disabled sister, Donna Mabry, and bled to death.
Police arrested Myron Britt, also 49, Thursday, doing so based on physical evidence found at the home of his parents. At a Friday press conference, the district attorney said a .25-caliber bullet that had been accidentally discharged in the home of Britt's parents two years ago matched the one found in the body of Nancy Britt.
In addition to the .25-caliber bullet found in the Britt home, the SBI also confiscated bank statements and insurance documents, daytrader documents and numerous house keys.
Since there was no sign of forced entry at the murder scene, suggesting the killer may have had a key to the home. There was a single key found on the console of the Britt's 2002 Toyota Highlander, but law enforcement officials have not said whether the key was to the Lumberton home.
Britt was denied bond and is in the Robeson County jail. His probable cause hearing is scheduled for Sept. 19.