Neighborhood child heard bang, scream when Wake Forest woman killed


WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) – A nationwide manhunt is underway for a man accused of killing his wife in Wake Forest after police say the woman’s body was found Tuesday.

Wake Forest Police found 34-year-old Stephanie Autry’s body Tuesday after they were asked to perform a check at the house in the 440 block of Iyar Way in Wake Forest.


Police are now searching for Autry’s husband, Lanson Paul Stalf, in connection with the investigation.

Bill Crabtree, spokesman for the town of Wake Forest, told WNCN that Stalf, 39, is still on the loose and they don’t have a motive for the murder. Police said the couple had been living together after Stalf was recently released from prison.

On Thursday, Wake Forest Police released photos of Stalf from the 2013 bank robbery to help the public identify him.

Stalf served 212 days of prison time after being convicted of robbing a bank in Wake Forest in 2013. He was released Oct. 15 and was supposed to be on parole until 2016.

The parole officials also have an arrest warrant out for him.

The shocking killing has rattled the neighborhood, especially with Stalf still at large.

“It’s terrible,” said Jeannine Engelbrecht, the next-door neighbor. “I keep thinking about it. We live so close.”

Engelbrecht said her children don’t feel safe after the killing.

“They don’t want to live here any more,” Engelbrecht said.

Engelbrecht said her 11-year-old child heard what might have been the murder around 8 p.m.

“He heard a bang and a scream,” Engelbrecht said. “I didn’t hear it. I thought he was getting distracted and I said, ‘Go do your homework.”

Engelbrecht called Autry “a nice, beautiful young woman.” She said she had no idea there were any problems with her neighbors.

Byron Engelbrecht said he had seen Stalf around in recent weeks.

“He’d been around but I never talked to him or had any interaction with him,” Byron Engelbrecht said.

Police said the couple’s nanny called them Tuesday and asked them to check on Autry. When officer arrived, they discovered her body. A neighbor told WNCN Thursday that her son heard shots fired at the house around 8 p.m.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Stephanie Autry, for her family, it’s a heartbreaking situation and so our hope is Lanson will be captured as soon as possible,” Crabtree said.

Police said the couple’s 3-year-old son was not home at the time of the murder.

Authorities do not know where Stalf is headed. They are asking anyone with information about Stalf’s whereabouts is asked to call police.

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