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Sex offender charged in Rowan County woman's 'brutal' murder

Donald Frye, left, and Sheila Godfrey (Photos courtesy of WSOC)

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WSOC) - Investigators in Rowan County have arrested a registered sex offender in connection with a 53-year-old woman's murder.

Authorities arrested 50-year-old Donald Frye overnight and charged him with first-degree murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

READ MORE from ABC affiliate WSOC here.

Investigators said Frye was the man seen in surveillance pictures after the murder of Sheila Godfrey, and that he was quickly identified as a result of the public's help.

Someone found Godfrey dead last Friday in her home on Lyerly Pond Road. Investigators said it appeared Godfrey was "brutally murdered" Thursday evening.

Deputies then found her car, a white 1987 Chevrolet S10 Blazer, four miles away, at a laundromat. They said Frye was driving the vehicle.

Frye is also accused of stealing Godfrey's debit card.

Officials have not released any motive in the crime but did say the crime was not random and that Frye knew Godfrey.

Frye is listed on the North Carolina Sex Offender registry and was recently released from jail after serving time on a probation violation. He was convicted in 1998 of taking indecent liberties with a minor and second-degree sex offense.

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