Registered Sex Offender Charged In Murder Of Elderly Kenly Woman

Body Of Kathy Thomas Found In Shallow Grave In Wilson 

Suspect Released From Prison In 2012 After Serving 18 Years For Rape And Burglary

In 2013 A Female Victim Was Arrested After Claiming Kenneth Lamm Bound And Raped Her      

The body of a missing Kenly woman was discovered in a grave behind a home in Wilson County late-Wednesday. A registered sex offender is now being bars charged with her murder.  Authorities believe the body found in the shallow grave is that of 71 year-old Kathy Thomas who was last seen around Nov. 23rd at her home on Highway 222 about seven miles west of Kenly.

Kenneth Wayne Lamm, 50, of 717 E. Harper Street, Wilson was taken into custody Wednesday night and charged with first degree murder.  Authorities discovered what is believed to be Thomas’ body in a back yard grave at Lamm’s home.   Thomas’ remains have been sent to the NC Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy.

Thomas was reported missing Nov. 30th, seven days after she last made contact with family members.

WTSB News and JoCoReport.com has learned that Johnston County Sheriff’s investigators believe Thomas was killed in Johnston County and her body taken to Lamm’s home in Wilson and buried. Authorities hope the autopsy will provide some idea when Thomas was killed.  Officers would not disclose the location they believe the 71 year-old woman was murdered.

Kathy Thomas

Lamm has a lengthy criminal record, having been released from prison in 2012 after serving more than 18 years for rape, sex offense and burglary. He also has a prior conviction for robbery and larceny.

Johnston County Sheriff Steve Bizzell publicly thanked the Wilson Police Department, the Wilson County Sheriff’s Office, and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office for their assistance in this investigation.

Woman Arrested In 2013 For Filing False Police Report After Claiming She Was Raped By Murder Suspect
Some people believe Kenneth Wayne Lamm should have already been back in prison after a 2013 incident investigated by Wilson Police.

According to a 2013 Wilson Times article, a Wilson woman reported she was the victim of a break-in and sexual assault in January 2013.  The victim, a former insurance agent, said Lamm tied her up, sexually assaulted her, then threw her in a tub of scalding water.    She immediately reported the rape and told Wilson Police she remembered Lamm as a man who had previously gone to her home offering to cut her lawn.  She did not remember his name.

Lamm was later identified by Wilson Police but never charged. During questioning he allegedly claimed he was her boyfriend and was involved in a romantic relationship. According to the article, Lamm claimed there was  a domestic dispute on the day in question and the victim, he told police, had made numerous phone calls and sent text messages to him.

No charges were ever filed against Kenneth Lamm for the 2013 sexual assault but the victim in the case was arrested.  The woman was charged by Wilson Police with filing a false police report.  To prepare for her trial on the false report charges, she hired a 25-year veteran private investigator who obtained her phone records and found no phone calls to or from Lamm.  The investigator also said Lamm made a threat towards him, but it was never reported to Wilson Police.

Police would not say if they reviewed the victim’s phone records in 2013.  They would also not answer questions if they investigated Lamm’s claims he was romantically involved with the victim.

During an interview with the private investigator, Kenneth Lamm said he met the Wilson woman in December 2012 when he knocked on her door advertising lawn services.  He claimed they had consensual intercourse more than once in the month that followed.

In November 2013, a Wilson judge dismissed the false report charges against the victim. She filed a complaint seeking to have prosecutors take another look at the break-in and sexual assault but Kenneth Lamm was never charged.  The victim was so fearful for her safety she moved 4 counties away from Lamm, according to the Wilson Times article.

WTSB News has learned there are some similarities between Kathy Thomas’ death and the 2013 sexual assault Lamm was never charged with.

Kenneth Lamm is being held without bond in the Johnston County Jail.